VicSRC Policy Submissions
As the peak body representing students in Victoria, VicSRC makes policy submissions to government to ensure that students are at the centre of education.
Mental health support in schools has been a consistent issue identified by Victorian students through VicSRC programs, events and consultations. In this submission we highlight the current challenges faced by students experiencing poor mental health at schools and the impact it has on learning and the feeling of school belonging. Our recommendations have been drawn from over a decade of consultation with students around the issues in schools that they feel have the greatest impact on achieving postive outcomes.
Victorian students have reported to the VicSRC a need for the curriculum to reflect more real world situations and the skills to deal with these. In 2017, the opportunity to explicitly learn more Real World Skills was identified as a top priority for Victorian student delegates at Congress. Many of the ‘real world skills’ identified- such as preparing tax returns, household budgeting and understanding rental agreements - require practical literacy and numeracy skills. We conclude from this that students do not currently feel prepared for the world beyond school and ensuring minimum literacy and numeracy standards would assist in better preparing them.
The YACVic, YDAS and VicSRC joint submission to the Victorian Parliament's inquiry into Career Advice Activities in Victorian Schools.
Today’s generation of secondary students face an increasingly complex, changing and precarious working world. It is more important than ever that they receive career guidance that is well-informed, relevant and engaging. Victorian schools provide a wide variety of career advice activities, and while some of it is excellent, we believe there is room for improvement.
In this submission, we highlight young people’s own views: their reflections on the career advice they received and how it might have been strengthened.
The VicSRC submission to the Victorian Department of Education and Training's review into Education and Training Reform Regulations.
Our submission focuses on Part 4 - Government School Councils and Parents’ Clubs, as this has most relevance to our expertise in supporting student voice and participation. Our recommendations draw upon our recent research with Deakin University into students on school councils.
However, as a general comment, VicSRC would like to see all of the Education and Training Reform Regulations reflect the importance of including students in all levels of school decision making so that their diverse needs and interests can be met.
A response to the discussion paper 'Working together to shape teaching education in Victoria'.
Students are in a unique and valuable position to provide perspectives on teacher education. They have direct daily experience with the outcomes of such teacher education; they think and talk about what makes a good teacher; they meet and respond to teacher candidates during the process of teacher education.
In forming the VicSRC's response to this discussion paper, our ideas have been developed
through discussion with members of the VicSRC Executive. These are current students in Years
7 to 11 in Victorian secondary schools, elected by their peers to manage the organisation.
Student Voice and Student Engagement in education is increasingly being recognised as a hallmark of a successful educational institution, success being; not only providing students with the best possible educational outcomes, but achieving these outcomes in a democratic and fair way. If done correctly, student voice can expose students to adult and workplace environments and equip students with knowledge and experiences applicable to the real world.
The Victorian Tech Schools initiative has an exciting opportunity to ensure student voice is mainstreamed throughout all long-term goals and decisions, be it facilities, curriculum, staffing or creating an innovative and welcoming environment.
Incorporating Student Voice and Student Engagement is good governance. It ensures that the decision making process is effective in identifying issues, working on solutions and implementing those solutions to ensure the Tech Schools operate at their best for learners in Victoria.
Students are at the centre of education in schools. They have strong understandings and ideas about what works, and ways to improve learning and teaching. We see this consultation process as a critical opportunity to talk to students about their views on school funding in Victoria.
Equity and funding in Education is a critical issue for students. It was identified as a top issue in our consultation on the Education State. Last year students at our annual Congress passed a resolution calling for a reinstatement of the Education Maintenance Allowance. EMA affects 200,000 students across Victoria and support for financially disadvantaged students and other avenues of financial support for student was
seen as the highest priority.
While we we’re pleased to see the instatement of the Schools, Camps and Excursion Fund in the last state budget there is still a gap in the way funding is allocated for students. The message was again reinforced at the 2015 VicSRC Regional Conferences. We held 12 conferences in metropolitan and regional Victoria where we talked to over 1000 students who ranked ‘School funding and equity’ as the second most important issue concerning students.
Download the VicSRC School Funding Review | July 2015
In an effort to capture the thoughts, feedback and ideas of Victorian students about the Education State, VicSRC sent out a survey to all member schools. Our survey asked students to reflect on questions designed around the eight Education State focus areas determined by the Government. The survey received a very strong response, from 352 students across 32 schools.
Student responses revolved around four key areas:
The school environment and student engagement
Funding and equality
These areas of focus align with the VicSRC policy statements developed over the last decade, as well as the areas of interest set by the 170 students who attended the VicSRC’s 2015 Congress. This submission explores students' perspective of the current state of education, what students hope for from the Education State, and recommendations. The submission is framed around the four themes listed above and includes six recommendations around the future of the Education State.
Download your copy of the full VicSRC Education State Submission (PDF)
Download your copy of the VicSRC Education State Submission - Snapshot (PDF)
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