Passionate staff keeping teenagers in school



Amb​​ition: Breaking the link​ / Staying in Education

Education State Target: By 2025, the proportion of students leaving education during Years 9 to 12 will halve.​

The Navigator pilot program is working with more than 360 disengaged learners across eight pilot sites in Victoria and has already seen some early successes supporting young people back into education.

Backed by an $8.6 million investment, Navigator supports young people aged 12-17 years who are not connected to schools at all, or who are at risk of disengaging.

Louise Medler, Navigator Coordinator for the Department of Education and Training says ‘After working in social work for a number of years, I was really excited to be part of this program that would deliver real results and have an impact on students, families and schools.’

Based in western Melbourne, Ms. Medler works with local partner Sandra Inserra from Anglicare. Of their partnership they say they “appreciate the opportunity to work in collaboration with each other.”

“It’s a great opportunity to use the skills, knowledge and experience that we each bring to the service.” 

Ms. Medler went on to say “While we’re getting up and running, and starting to work with young people and their families, we’ve had a great opportunity to go out to schools and meet with teachers and other services to work out how Navigator can complement the work that they’re doing.” 

Providers like Anglicare, are helping the Navigator program to improve outcomes for young people, linking them to support services and interventions, and working with schools to support re-engagement planning. 

Ms. Inserra said “the idea is to help them feel comfortable so that they’ve got an opportunity to have their own voice.”

 “I’d like to see long term outcomes for these young people so that we don’t see them disengaged again down the track.”

“I think everyone is trying really hard, schools, families and students are all trying to do the best they can and we can help to bring all of that together.”

Ms. Medler went on to say “It has got to the point, where we have hit demand really quickly, we are getting lots of referrals already. And what that shows us is that there are kids out there that need Navigator’s support.”

Navigator​ is helping to meet the key Education State target of halving the proportion of students leaving school early from years 9 to 12 by 2025.