It’s Education Week in Australia but it’s definitely feeling more like the Year of Student Voice around the world. This year has seen a resurgence of student voice in the popular consciousness and the media, bringing a burst of attention to the smart, savvy and spirited students who have been working for change at every level.
Student action has been working towards this moment for years and Victorian educational policy is not immune. In 2015 student delegates at VicSRC’s Congress presented the idea of students on School Councils to the Minister for Education. For two years the Victorian Student Representative Council worked with young people across the state campaigning for this change, and now legislation has been passed. Elections are happening across the state and by the end of the term two student members will sit on all Government secondary School Councils.
“Student representation on School Councils is necessary so that students’ voices are heard when important decisions are being made. Students, as a major stakeholder in schools and in education systems, should be able to expect to have their voices heard and, through being involved as partners in the formal process of School Council, they can ensure that this extends to school policy and the implementation of government policy.” Mia Sherman, Student Executive VicSRC
A recurring issue identified by students at Congress is the lack of real world skills covered in the current curriculum. VicSRC has been empowering students to advocate for change on this matter, attending reference groups and providing information to Government hearings. Consequently we are delighted to see new investment in practical skills in the latest budget, a first indicator towards sorely needed change.
With Congress 2018 fast approaching we can’t wait to see what new positive ideas Victorian students have to put out there. With the election fast approaching and the roar of student voice resounding around the globe it really is the #yearofstudentvoice.
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