Cen­tre fi­nal­ist

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

The Flex­i­ble Learn­ing Cen­tre, which has cam­puses in Be­nalla, Shep­par­ton, Sey­mour and Wodonga, has been named a fi­nal­ist for the Vic­to­rian Ed­u­ca­tion Ex­cel­lence Awards 2017.

Its nom­i­na­tion is for the Spe­cial­ist Ed­u­ca­tion Award, which will be pre­sented at a cer­e­mony on Oc­to­ber 27 at the Plaza Ball­room in Mel­bourne.

The Flex­i­ble Learn­ing Cen­tre was nom­i­nated for its work in ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port­ing in­no­va­tion in stu­dent en­gage­ment and aca­demics.

Be­nalla Cam­pus act­ing lead­ing teacher and well­be­ing and lit­er­acy co­or­di­na­tor Brad Hearn said it was a great hon­our to be nom­i­nated.

‘‘It’s a priv­i­lege to be named a fi­nal­ist in a cat­e­gory that means so much in the cur­rent ed­u­ca­tional en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Mr Hearn said.

‘‘For us to be nom­i­nated we had to show ex­em­plary teach­ing and learn­ing prac­tices as well as ex­em­plary well­be­ing struc­tures that pro­vide di­ver­sity for stu­dents and meets their cur­ricu­lum, so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment needs.’’

The Flex­i­ble Learn­ing Cen­tre has served North East Vic­to­ria for more than five years and the Be­nalla Cam­pus has been open for three.

Mr Hearn said hav­ing the Flex­i­ble Learn­ing Cen­tre in Be­nalla pro­vided lo­cal stu­dents with an op­tion for qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion that met aca­demic stan­dards fa­cil­ity that suited needs.

‘‘To have it here in Be­nalla helps us over­come bar­ri­ers that our town faces, not only be­ing a ru­ral town, but one that suf­fers from sig­nif­i­cant so­cial and eco­nomic dis­ad­van­tage,’’ Mr Hearn said.

‘‘It helps Be­nalla’s young peo­ple en­ter the work­force and be pro­duc­tive mem­bers of the wider com­mu­nity and to give back to a coun­try town that has pro­vided op­por­tu­ni­ties for them.

‘‘It’s also im­por­tant to have the cen­tre in Be­nalla for our sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties, so that all stu­dents have ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion while ac­tively seek­ing em­ploy­ment and ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion op­tions.’’

Mr Hearn said the Flex­i­ble Learn­ing Cen­tre was hop­ing it would bring the award home.

‘‘We’re very hope­ful, but we’re up against the best in Vic­to­ria,’’ Mr Hearn said.

‘‘Even if we don’t win it’s a great hon­our for a town in a their like Be­nalla to have the cen­tre recog­nised as one of the best in the state.’’

All award fi­nal­ists are in the run­ning to win up to $220 000 worth of pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment prizes.

The Vic­to­rian Ed­u­ca­tion Ex­cel­lence Awards have high­lighted ex­em­plary gov­ern­ment school ed­u­ca­tion and in­no­va­tion in Vic­to­ria for the past 15 years.

The awards demon­strate what suc­cess in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion looks like and gives the com­mu­nity an insight into what Vic­to­rian schools do every day to make a dif­fer­ence to chil­dren and their com­mu­ni­ties.

A ded­i­cated, in­de­pen­dent panel com­prised of ed­u­ca­tional lead­ers and thinkers are over­see­ing the judg­ing process.

Cat­e­gory win­ners will join a pres­ti­gious roll of hon­our and be­come am­bas­sadors for fu­ture years awards.

Th­ese awards cel­e­brate what makes Vic­to­rian pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion great, and the pos­i­tive im­pact it has on our young peo­ple.

Up for award: The Be­nalla Cam­pus of the Flex­i­ble Learn­ing Cen­tre.

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