Grants to improve year 12 retention

THREE south-west schools will develop dedicated programs to help students complete year 12 after winning state government funding.

Warrnambool College, Bayview College in Portland and Portland Secondary College will share more than $300,000 under round two of the Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund. They are among 33 Victorian schools to gain grants.

Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said the funding would help deliver individualised school programs to improve retention rates, which remained significantly lower than metropolitan areas.

“This money will help our local schools partner with other educational organisations to offer more extensive course options, develop mentorship programs and to work more closely with parents to make the classroom a more attractive and enjoyable experience for these at-risk students,” Dr Napthine said.

Warrnambool College will launch its Retention Engagement Expansion partnership (REEP) after receiving $140,000. The program will assist teachers with strategies that can be applied in the traditional classroom settings to help students re-engage and enjoy learning.

Bayview College will use $38,450 for its Horizon Program, a career and pastoral care initiative that aims to reduce the number of students leaving school at the end of year 10 and 11. It is also tailored to expand career education into junior year levels.

Portland Secondary College’s Engaging Pathways for Vulnerable Youth — Getting in Early program received $131,000. It works to provide real-life learning experiences for middle-year students who are showing signs of disengagement in the classroom.

Dr Napthine said Portland Secondary students in years 9 and 10 would have the opportunity to complete prevocational training in areas such as hospitality and construction. The Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund will offer $5 million in grants over four years. 

It was provided through the government’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

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