I rise to draw the attention of the house to a brilliant new initiative between the four Shepparton district high schools.
The Better Together alliance is working on the premise that while remaining stand-out colleges individually, the high schools are better working together.
Each alliance school will take responsibility to be the centre for education for one of four key educational areas.
Shepparton High School will be looking after the agriculture sector, McGuire College will take on manufacturing, Mooroopna Secondary College will take on the allied health sector and Wanganui Park Secondary College will specialise in retail. This will allow each school to focus their efforts and ensure that first-rate knowledge and advice is given to our young people.
The alliance will also establish a mathematics and science task force and a gifted children’s task force, and it will concentrate on strengthening partnerships with higher education providers, employers, businesses and local government to focus on areas of specific job growth to address the skills gap. To do all of this it needs financial support from this government. I urge the Minister for Education, Minister Merlino, to visit the Shepparton district and the alliance schools to see a number of he innovative and worthy programs that are operating in our schools. The government has an opportunity to invest in an initiative that will enrich the experiences of students at these high schools, ensure better outcomes for them and ensure confidence in the public education system in Shepparton.