The State government has failed to address falling retention rates, large class sizes, alarming teacher shortages and poor facilities in government schools. Its insistence on benchmarking and testing has also ignored students with learning disabilities and other disadvantages.

The Democrats are committed to:


Those children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who have been shown to most benefit from a preschool education are missing out due to the high cost. In fact it is estimated that 4000 Victorian children each year are missing out on a valuable preschool education.

The Australian Democrats are committed to:

Public Secondary & Primary Schools

Fairness for public students is being destroyed by governments directing funds to private schools at the expense of public education.

Public education teachers are undervalued, overworked and lack the resources to tackle the complex range of social problems today?s students face from family breakdowns to financial difficulties. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with challenging behaviours need to be encouraged in their schooling to prevent them from dropping out or continually disrupting classes.

Secondary Reward Program

The Australian Democrats are committed to encouraging success in public education by funding a means tested secondary students reward scheme that provides quarterly spending vouchers to students who:

Reintroduction of Technical Education

The Australian Democrats are committed to providing students with the choice to explore varied educational opportunities, including:

Additional Primary Specialist Teachers

Primary schools are where children should develop the skills and enthusiasm for life-long learning but emphasis on benchmarking and testing and too little social and curriculum support is hampering progress.

The Australian Democrats are committed to:

Additional primary school programs include:

Changing the Culture of Violence Program

The Australian Democrats are committed to expanding the Solving the Jigsaw program that has been trialled in Victoria and shown to reduce incidences of bullying in schools. Solving the Jigsaw program involves parents and children tackling the link between violence at home and bullying at school.

Other Schools Programs

The Australian Democrats are committed to:

Tertiary Scholarship Program

Increasing numbers of Victorian students pay up front fees for their courses or leave university with more HECS debt than is required for a house deposit.

At the same time rural regions are suffering from a lack of qualified professionals, namely medical professionals and teachers.

The Australian Democrats are committed to: