The Federal Government has announced $13 million in funding to allow Victorian public schools to provide specialised teaching a field of their choice under the first phase of the Empowering Local Schools initiative.


Federal Minister for School Education and Victorian Education Minister Martin Dixon released the plan that will operate in 166 government schools over the coming two years.


Mr Dixon said the funding provided for the first phase of Empowering Local Schools will increase autonomy for government schools, helping principals and the school community make decisions in the best interest of all students.


“The Empowering Local Schools initiative will build on Victoria’s already strong history of school autonomy, allowing school leaders and teachers to better exercise the decision making powers they already have, and helping to reduce the bureaucratic burden on schools,” Mr Dixon said. 


The scheme will see four key elements form the basis of the policy

  • Local Administration Bureau in Horsham, in regional Victoria, will be expanded to remove the administrative burden for the principals of small and regional schools by outsourcing functions, including financial management, human resources and other administrative processes. 
  • School Partnerships – Empowering Local Decision Making will create new school partnerships and cluster arrangements, using teams within schools to build school capacity, increase parental involvement, and share accountability for student learning outcomes.
  • Specialisation Grants will help more schools introduce personalised learning for students in areas such as languages, maths and science, giving schools greater flexibility to respond to student and local community needs.
  • Supporting Professional Practice will support principals to evaluate teacher performance and provide more effective feedback and support to teachers.


Each school will receive a start-up grant of between $40,000 and up to $50,000 to help implement increased and improved local decision making. The reforms will be progressively implemented from now until the end of 2013, with a second phase of the initiative expected to commence from 2015.


For more information and a list of schools taking part