State Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley has called on the Baillieu Government to reinstate coordination funding for the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning program following a damning report from the Auditor-General.

The Auditor-General’s report found that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development did not have sufficient evidence on which to base its recommendations to government to withdraw VCAL coordination funding.

Ms Graley said that despite no analysis being undertaken on the impact of cuts to VCAL coordination funding the Baillieu Government went ahead and ripped vital funding from our local schools.

“VCAL is a program that has engaged disadvantaged students and supported the highest school retention rates of any state,”

“Yet, this callous government has slashed its funding and forced local schools to make significant cuts to ensure they can continue to offer a VCAL program.” Ms Graley said

Assistant Principal and VCAL/VET program manager for Narre Warren South P-12 College Rob Duncan said that although their VCAL program was more popular than ever, the Baillieu Government had cut their funding by $126,000.

“In 2012 we decided to forgo the position of VCAL Assistant Coordinator, we increased class sizes, we cut programs including some VET and VCE subjects and our part-time coordinator felt compelled to work on her day off,”

“Sadly in 2013 we will have to cap our VCAL enrolments at 100 in Year 11 and 100 in Year 12,”

“This is very disappointing as it means we cannot offer places to some students who would really benefit from the program.”

Nicole Spargo, a recent graduate from the VCAL program at Narre Warren P-12 College said it was disappointing that so many would now miss out on the VCAL program.

“Many of my friends found VCAL to be a great alternative to VCE,”

“They were able to learn new skills, take up a trade and gain experience from potential future employers.”