Early 2017 conversation
In April 2017, the Victorian Government announced a long-term plan to transform education in Shepparton. This Shepparton Education Plan looks at learning from birth to post-secondary, and the first phase focused on what can be done to transform secondary school education.
Identifying opportunities to improve
In June 2017, the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) asked the community to tell them about the key challenges facing young people in the area. They knew that outcomes in the local community are well below the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) state averages for both reading and numeracy.
To understand how education outcomes could improve, the VSBA ran a three-week conversation with the community that included:
- nine workshops and meetings, which saw more than 200 community members attend, including students, parents, teachers, early learning centre staff and community groups
- 185 people filling out an online survey
- more than 4,750 individual comments, which were read and grouped into themes.
What we heard
The community highlighted the varied and complex issues young people faced in the area.
Feedback identified the need for improved pathways to tertiary education and local industry, increasing the limited breadth and depth of subject choice, encouraging sharing of information and resources across schools, and reducing competition between schools for enrolments.
The VSBA noted the community wanted local schools to:
- improve student learning by enhancing teacher capabilities, upgrading physical learning spaces, and rethinking current provision
- address the needs of every young person in Shepparton, particularly those who have experienced trauma or have a disability, and place a greater emphasis on individualised learning
- ensure that our best and brightest have every opportunity to excel
- give students a broader range of skills, experiences and options for the future, and to make learning more engaging, raise aspirations and improve pathways for life after school.
To read the full report for this conversation, read the Shepparton Education Plan – Phase one community engagement report
Late 2017 conversation
Reviewing four proposed options for the community
Following the release of the Phase 1 'What We Heard' report, the VSBA began the Phase 2 of the secondary school community discussion.
In September and October 2017, the Shepparton community were asked for their feedback on four different options for secondary education.
To read more about the four options, see: Secondary Education in Shepparton: Proposed options for community feedback
Identifying the right option for Shepparton
Over four weeks the VSBA hosted a series of pop-up information sessions, community workshops and an online survey. More than 300 community members had their say and almost 2,000 individual comments were analysed.
The result of this survey showed the community supported the establishment of one school as the preferred option.
They made it clear they wanted their young people to aim high and to reduce any perception that different secondary schools provide different education experiences to different sectors of the community.
The Shepparton Education Plan Advisory Committee considered this feedback before recommending merging the four local government secondary schools into one new school.
Following this recommendation, the Victorian Government formally endorsed the approach.
The new school will provide a better environment for teaching and learning. This will improve opportunities for Shepparton’s young people to meet life’s challenges, build resilience and reach their full potential.
To read more about the results of this conversation, see: Shepparton Education Plan: Phase two community engagement report
Delivering the single site model
Shepparton High School, McGuire College, Mooroopna Secondary College and Wanganui Park Secondary College will merge to form one new single site school that will be better equipped to meet the needs and aspirations of young people across the area.
The new school was designed by Architects Gray Puksand, who worked with students and teachers on the designs.
The designs support the school’s focus on having the advantages of facilities of a big school, while maintaining the feel of a smaller school environment.
For all students now and into the future, the new school location offers many benefits, including:
- the school will be located in easy walking distance to Latrobe University and GoTAFE meaning our young people will be able to:
- access hands-on practical training like mechanics, hospitality, digital design and web design − to be job ready
- make the transition to university easier - potentially linking senior secondary programs to university studies.
- having the school located close to local businesses will help our young people build relationships with employers to gain work experience and future jobs.
For more information about the design of the school or the next steps for the school, see: Designing and building our new site