Education begins in the early years and may include preparational groups such as preschool through to the more formal system of primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, which might be university, TAFE, or apprenticeship training. Furthermore, professional development, short skills and personal interest courses and seminars support essential life-long learning, to ensure continued relevance of skills and knowledge for employability in an environment of constant change.
Accessibility, connections, and flexibility are major principles to support participation in educational opportunities. As a lack of public transport is often a factor in rural areas, accessing training can be more expensive due to required travel, also adding to time commitments for participants – a double negative impact. Poor internet connections (or none) can also be a barrier to remote study. The local economy can be a driver of what educational opportunities are locally offered, which may reduce choice and not match individual needs, interests, or abilities. Often educational courses in the rural sector are the first cuts made when education budgets are under stress.
As mentioned, population can dictate what courses are available as insufficient numbers may limit offerings due to cost. Government policy, funding and imposts can also impact educational offerings. Local influences such as remoteness/distance, lack of internet and mobile access, and local culture (which may not value formal education) can each impact this element, and in fact have a multiplier effect.
Education Plans – Education Plans use a collaborative approach to improving students’ educational outcomes by harnessing the knowledge, passion, and expertise of local communities. Education Plans adopt a ‘people and place’ approach to education, enabling decisions about local learners to be based on local circumstances and made in an integrated way. Education Plans aim to transform education provision in a geographical area, involving a cluster of schools and partners, through tailored interventions. These interventions respond to the complex challenges impacting the achievement and wellbeing of children and young people in that area.
Education Plans identify and address community needs in partnership with local government, regional offices, and other departments, and can involve:
These Plans can act as a catalyst for change within communities by collectively developing a shared vision for education, reflecting a local community’s needs, aspirations, and priorities for educational change. Implementation of Education Plans involves local-level strategies and actions over the short, medium, and longer term. Many involve supporting children, parents, families and/or carers throughout key transition stages in learning, resulting in stronger partnerships between educational services and local communities. Wimmera SouthWest planning – Wimmera South West – South Western Victoria region (education.vic.gov.au)
Local policy priorities – PowerPoint Presentation (rdv.vic.gov.au)
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