Victoria Shadow Minister for Regional & Rural Development Peter Ryan
Bill Sykes Benalla MLA
Coalition’s $5 Million Plan To Improve School Retention Rates
Victor P Taffa
Regional and Rural Secondary School Students will be encouraged to stay in school longer under a $5 Million Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Plan to Boost School Retention Rates.
Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan made the announcement today at the FCJ College in Benalla with The Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes.
“All Victorians should be supported to complete a Secondary School Education but under Premier John Brumby, Regional and Rural students now leave school much earlier than their city counterparts.” Mr. Ryan said.
“Country School Retention Rates the Percentage of Students remaining at School until year 12 have fallen from 72 % in 2002 to 68 % in 2010, while Retention Rates at Melbourne Secondary Schools have increased from 85 % to 87 %.”
Mr. Ryan said the Coalition’s Plan will bridge the gap between Metropolitan and Regional Areas by committing $5 Million over four years to improve Year 12 Retention Rates.
“Most Country Schools have Retention Rates below the State Average, and a Coalition Government will work with those Schools to set up a Program tailored to the individual needs of students and give them the flexibility to determine what innovative Programs best cater for their students.” Mr. Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan said there were many factors that influenced retention rates, including student motivation levels, the variety of curriculum offered, staffing levels, and family financial constraints.
“Independent, Catholic and Government Secondary Schools with Poor Retention Rates will be asked to put forward proposals that will encourage students to persist with their Secondary Education.” Mr. Ryan said.
“For example, in these Regional and Rural Schools where motivation is an issue, the solution may be work experience or an exchange program with another community so students can see for themselves what is possible with a post secondary career.”
“Alternatively, the school may wish to extend its curriculum to encourage students to stay on and complete school and therefore additional staff, extra classes, or improved IT and video conferencing facilities may be required to help boost Retention Rates.”
“Schools may need additional support to run alternative programs for students at risk of dropping out of standard School Programs.” Mr. Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan said Labor’s claim that education was its number one priority was clearly false when school retention rates across regional and rural Victoria had fallen in the past eleven years.
“The Coalition is committed to boosting High School Retention Rates in Country Victoria and our $5 Million Plan to fund innovative, tailored programs will help Country Families.” Mr. Ryan said.
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