Thank you for your work this year

David Howes, Deputy Secretary, Schools and Regional Services, reflects on 2022 and looks ahead to the new year

'The challenges of this year have been well-documented and you need no reminding of them, I'm sure.

But it is worth saying again what an extraordinary job has been done by all working in our schools to maintain school operations, keep students learning and support their wellbeing through the most trying of circumstances.

Thank you, because these things were achieved only through your remarkable perseverance, determination, camaraderie and effort.

As 2022 draws to an end, there are many reasons to be optimistic as we look towards the 2023 school year.

We have a continuing agenda to place both the learning and wellbeing of students at the centre of our work.

Support for student wellbeing will be enhanced through the continued rollout of the schools' mental health menu.

Our capacity to strengthen not only a culture but an experience of inclusion for every student will be enabled through the expansion of the Disability Inclusion reforms.

And the continued funding of the Tutor Learning Initiative in 2023 provides us with the capacity to deliver additional support for students who need it most.

In 2023, the new opportunities available to senior secondary students through the introduction of the vocational major will also be realised.

We come into 2023 on very solid foundations, as evidenced by our strong NAPLAN results, especially from our primary schools.

The transformation of school infrastructure and the investment in new facilities including Tech Schools and the Victorian Academy for Teaching and Leadership is visible and apparent across the state.

The teacher recruitment drive and the new incentives available to support staffing in hard-to-staff schools will help address the workforce challenges experienced this year.

We have learnt much over these last 3 years. The collaborative planning between teachers in many schools has strengthened, including through the continued implementation of PLCs and supportive relationships between schools through networks.

And in 2023 we have new opportunities through the reduction in face-to-face teaching workload to re-energise and focus our efforts again on ensuring every student in every school has a great day every day.

I trust you are able to enjoy a safe and exceptionally well-deserved break over the holiday season, and look forward to working with you again in 2023.'


David Howes
Deputy Secretary
Schools and Regional Services