About the project
The Department of Education and Training is currently reviewing school provision in Preston.
This is delivering on the State Government’s election commitment to undertake a provision review regarding the need for a high school in Preston and the reopening of the Preston Girls’ Secondary College as a suitable site.
The review is covering the suburbs of Preston and the nearby suburbs of Alphington, Fairfield, Northcote, Coburg, Thornbury, Reservoir, Bundoora-Macleod, Fawkner, Heidelberg Heights and Kingsbury.
Stage One of the review assessed the level of need generated from the Preston community for secondary school education. As part of Stage One, the Department undertook community consultation to explore local issues and perspectives.
A Community Reference Group has been formed to test project findings and share information with the community. This group includes a cross section of the community and key stakeholders.
The findings of Stage One indicate that projected secondary school enrolments are likely to exceed current capacity in the area between now and 2025 and that by 2031 this shortfall will reach 1,600 government secondary school places.
Stage Two of the review is now underway and will look at options to better meet the needs of Preston residents. This will include further consultation with the community and key stakeholders.
The following considerations have been identified for Stage Two of the review:
Develop options to identify when, where and how additional needs should be met in the future.
Assess the suitability of the Preston Girls' Secondary College site to accommodate additional secondary school need.
Consider issues highlighted by the community, notably relating to access and transport.
Consider how schools currently supporting Preston families will be impacted by any new provision.
Consider the implications of maintaining a high reliance on relocatable classrooms in the long-term.
Following the completion of Stage Two the findings and options will be presented to the Minister for Education. The timing and execution will be subject to availability of funding and prioritisation of the project at a State level.
What is the School Provision Review for Preston?
During the 2014 election campaign, the Government made a commitment to undertake a provision review regarding the need for a high school in Preston and the reopening of the Preston Girls’ Secondary College. In September 2015 the Department of Education and Training commissioned specialist consultants to work in collaboration with the Department to assess the need for secondary school provision in Preston.
The review is being conducted over two stages. Stage One assessed the level of need generated from the Preston community for secondary school education. Stage Two will look at developing options to meet the assessed needs including, but not limited to, options to reopen the Preston Girls’ Secondary College site.
Following the completion of Stage Two the findings and options will be presented to the Minister for Education. Timing and execution will be subject to availability of funding and prioritisation of the project at a State level.
Allocations of funding for all new school projects and for existing schools are subject to the annual State Budget process alongside other state-wide infrastructure projects.
Why is the Department of Education and Training consulting with the community?
The Department is undertaking community consultation to ensure it makes the most informed decision about meeting the secondary education provision needs of current and future Preston families.
The community consultation is a two-way conversation focused on engaging the community through building strong positive relationships, informing the community on the relevant policy context, project limitations and opportunities, and testing and finalising the approach for determining need.
Will the final report be released to the public?
The Victorian Government is committed to making Victoria the Education State. Central to this is ensuring that sufficient services and facilities are available to meet the needs of growing communities.
A link to the Stage One report is available below. This report will be used to advise Government on the future education needs of the local community. The Department will continue to work with key stakeholders to progress the outcomes of the review.
What is the purpose of the Community Reference Group?
As part of the review, the Department has established a Community Reference Group (CRG). The aim of the CRG is to act as a conduit for information between the Department, its consultants and the local community throughout the life of the project.
The CRG includes a cross section of the community including representatives from community groups, local schools and residents. The selection aims to closely reflect the diversity of the local population profile as well as the breadth of community interests and views.
School Provision Review for Preston - Stage One: Needs Analysis Final Report (docx - 4.36mb)