Jacinta Allan

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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Students at risk of dropping out of school in the Bendigo region have received a lifeline from the Andrews Labor Government.

State Labor Members for Bendigo, Maree Edwards and Jacinta Allan today officially opened a new alternative learning centre for disengaged students on High Street in Kangaroo Flat.

The Bendigo Flexible Learning Option (FLO) will open with an initial intake of about 40 students and replace the St Luke’s Anglicare-run Education Support Unit, which closed at the end of 2016. It is predicted that future enrolment may expand to over 100 students annually over the next five years.

The FLO model was developed following an in-depth investigation into best practice models for at-risk young people. 

FLOs – which have been successfully established in recent years in Swan Hill, Mildura and Morwell – provide students with the tailored support they need to overcome obstacles to successfully complete an education or training pathway.

The Bendigo FLO has been established as a partnership between six secondary schools which previously referred students to the Education Support Unit: Weeroona College Bendigo, Bendigo South East College, Crusoe College, Eaglehawk Secondary College, Bendigo Senior Secondary College and Kalianna Special School.

The Andrews Labor Government today also announced a review of the Bendigo Education Plan. Developed in 2005, the plan included a range of strategies to ensure students receive the best possible education, and to improve attendance and retention rates.

The review provides an excellent opportunity to explore the impact of the Bendigo Education Plan on student outcomes across the Bendigo region.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“The Bendigo Flexible Learning Option program will be a vital pathway for local students with complex needs at risk of dropping out of school.”

“It will help build the confidence, attitudes and skills they need to transition to a mainstream school, training, work or further study.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan

 “I want to thank staff from Department’s regional office and St Luke’s Anglicare for their hard work in recent months in establishing the Bendigo FLO and supporting students transitioning into it.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards

“The FLO’s strong links with existing government and community programs will lead to better life opportunities for disengaged young people from the Bendigo region.”

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