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New research shows that public schools do just as well as private schools, after differences in socio-economic background of students are considered. A recent  study published by reseearchers at the University of New England found that, after taking account of the different socio-economic background of students, private schools are not associated with higher average student achievement in standardized literacy and numeracy tests at any grade. Nor do private schools provide greater progress in reading and numeracy from grade 3 through grade 9.

Save Our Schools has published the details and a link to the full study report on its website. 

Media Release

Statement includes - "I will also inform National Cabinet that school holidays will be brought forward in Victoria, starting on Tuesday 24 March."



The National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence was on 15 March. There was a terrific response from Victorian schools to the Day of Action this year – over 1,000 Victorian schools, and nearly 500,000 students, signed up to participate in the day. The Education Department launched a new video it has developed in collaboration with VAEAI and the Melbourne Football Club. The video addresses racist bullying, particularly directed towards Koorie students, and promotes upstander behaviour. It shares practical and safe strategies that students can take if they see or hear racist bullying – with the message of support ‘I have your back’.

Poster competition

The Department is also running a student poster competition, with ISV and CEO,  to continue promoting the theme of upstander. As well as some generous prizes, the winning posters will be printed and sent to all schools.

More resources

See our Anti-bullying resources page for more information from the Education Department and other sources.



Parents Victoria was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Esther Harris, Executive Officer of Star Victoria Inc.

Esther was President of the Victorian Federation of State School Parents Clubs (now known as Parents Victoria) from 1989 to 1991.

It was from there that her passionate interest and commitment to the rights of all children in education grew.

Esther Mem Serv photo 2018

Esther was a strong advocate for inclusion of students with an intellectual disability in mainstream schools and for resourcing to support their integration.

Parents Victoria remembers Esther for her passion and her commitment to her family and to people with disabilities.

Esther has been a long term active member to our organisation and until her passing in her role as the Executive Officer at STAR she continued to support us (voluntarily) wherever possible. Attending our conferences, state activities and Department of Education meetings, in particular she has often chaired our Annual Executive Election at Conference.

Esther's dedication to State Education & to children/families with disabilities has been over & beyond the call of duty.

We send our heartfelt condolences to Esther’s family, STAR Victoria Board and members and Esther’s wide network of likeminded friends and supporters of Public Education.

We will miss her dearly.



"Desperate parents are turning to the human rights watchdog to seek justice for children removed from schools for mental health conditions."  Parents Victoria's Executive Officer, Gail McHardy, comments.  Herald Sun, August 18, 2016.


Parents Victoria acknowledges the great work of volunteers within our communities 

A special thanks to our Parent Club volunteers and the students who volunteer to their representative groups - all working hard for the benefit of their school communities

 Minister for Education Letter to school volunteers 2014

   Volunteers - great examples

School reports will be written in plain English - and student gradings made simpler.   Parents Victoria Executive Officer Gail McHardy, welcomed the guidelines, saying "parents want to know where their child is at, be it good or bad.  Schools and families then need to work together on how to address weaknesses and build on strengths".  Herald Sun, February 21, 2014

School principals will be able to suspend students without facing parents, but could front an appeal panel if they decide to expel students, Education Minister Martin Dixon has said.   The Age, January 4, 2014.  Parents Victoria's Executive Officer, Gail McHardy, comments.

Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) President Peter Garrigan said parents voting at the federal election had relied on Prime Minister Tony Abbott's pledge that he was on a "unity ticket" with Labor on school funding.  Read  ACSSO Media Release re school funding 28 Nov 2013 .  Parents Victoria is the State affiliate of ACSSO.


Victoria has urged the Commonwealth to honour the deal it reached with Labor.  Education Minister Martin Dixon said his state had reached an agreement with the Commonwealth, not the ALP.

Minister Dixon told the Victorian State Parliament on Tuesday, that he would stand up for education and for funding that was "rightfully ours".  Minister Dixon said his government had signed a "great agreement" on school funding with the then Labor government in August.

"We look forward to the Commonwealth actually fulfilling its commitment", he said.  "We signed the agreement with the federal government, not a political party."

A Victorian government spokeswoman had insisted on Monday that a $12.2 billion deal had been reached guaranteeing "record levels of funding and an unprecedented six years of funding certainty" for schools in Victoria.

DEECD funding facts.

Recent public comments by our Minister on this issue.


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