The Victorian Government has announced a $60.2 million investment in extension programs for high ability students at all primary and secondary schools across the state.
Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn visited Strathmore Secondary College to announce the Student Excellence Program which includes a range of resources that aim to assist high ability students in excelling in the classroom.
“All primary and secondary state schools will benefit from the Student Excellence Program. This means that parents can be assured that no matter which school their child attends, there will be a program to push and extend high ability students,” said Minister Merlino.
The package includes $10.1 million to deliver the Victorian High Ability Program, which will cater for up to 48,000 high ability students in Years 5 to 8 to enrol in a 10-week intensive program through Virtual School Victoria, followed by a face-to-face masterclass in their local area with neighbouring schools.
“This will make it easier for teachers to support the brightest students in their classroom. It will see one in ten students, across Years 5 to 8 be supported to extend themselves educationally,” added Ms Blandthorn.
Up to 100,000 Victorian students will have access to a series of extension opportunities, including with universities, tech schools and partner organisations such as the CSIRO, NGV, Zoos Victoria and regional galleries, through a $5.5 million investment.
Government schools will receive $40.4 million in resources for high ability students. This will include access to a High Ability Practice Leader, who will coordinate the school’s high ability program. This will be a new role for existing teachers.
“Students from across Victoria will benefit from these programs. It means students will be challenged and given new educational opportunities to learn and reach their potential,” said Member for Essendon Danny Pearson.
The package also includes $1.2 million of funds to provide teachers with online professional learning and a toolkit of evidence-based resources.