|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment of the Ministry
From the mid 1970's and particularly during the 1980's the administration of education was extensively reviewed and restructured. There were many changes to policy and several radical re-organisations of the Education Department (VA 714) and its schools and of the associated statutory authorities and boards. The Education Department had been the major education authority since 1873 when it was established under the provisions of the Education Act 1872 (No.447).
In November 1985 under the provisions of Administrative Arrangements Order No.40, the Ministry of Education (VA 1112) was established and the Education Department was abolished. The Minister announced that the Ministry of Education had been created to expedite the process of devolving functions and authority to schools and regions, and to improve the co-ordination of policy, resources and planning across the portfolio. It was intended that the Ministry would progressively transfer services and resources to the regions. The central administration was to be responsible for maintaining effective co-ordination within and between education sectors and for developing state wide policy frameworks within which local decision-making could occur.
Structure and Responsibilities of the Ministry
By 1989 the Ministry of Education consisted of the Minister for Education and the Minister responsible for Post Secondary Education (first appointed in May 1989, replacing the Minister Assisting the Minister with Responsibility for Post Secondary Education, first appointed in December 1987), a Chief Executive, the Office of Schools Administration, several central administration branches and divisions including the Division of Further Education and the Education Executive Committee. The Education Executive Committee consisted of the Chief Executive and the Chief General Manager of the Office of Schools Administration, the General Manager Division of Further Education and the chairpersons of the State Training Board, State Board of Education, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board and the Victorian Post-Secondary Education Commission, all of which were major statutory authorities within the portfolio.
The Ministry also included the following minor statutory authorities and boards
- Institute of Educational Administration
- Registered Schools Board
- Teachers Registration Board
- Teaching Services Appeals Board
- TAFE Discipline Appeals Board,
- TAFE Teaching Service Appeals Board
- TAFE Teaching Service Registration Board, and the
- Victorian Post-Secondary Education Accreditation Board.
Office of Schools Administration
In 1988 following an amendment to the Public Service Act 1974, the former Schools Division was established as the Office of Schools Administration, an associated administrative unit of the Ministry of Education. Although there was little change in functional responsibility, the new Office had greater autonomy.
The Office of Schools Administration was responsible for providing thirteen years of comprehensive quality education to students in over 2,100 Government primary and post-primary schools across Victoria. In Victoria, school attendance is compulsory from six to fifteen years of age. Branches of the State Office, eight regional offices and forty-two school support centres supported schools in their work in line with Government educational priorities which included the devolution of authority to the school community; collaborative decision-making; an administration which was to be responsive to the needs of schools; an excellent education for every child; and the redress of disadvantage and discrimination. Curriculum policy was set by each school council within these principles and with the assistance of curriculum frameworks.
Programs and Services
In 1989 the Ministry was responsible for a number of key educational programmes.
The Students with Disabilities Program provided for the development of educational programs and school-based resources for disabled students in regular schools. Eighty-six special schools provided an alternative program for students with disabilities.
The Aboriginal Mentor Program worked to create a supportive environment for Aboriginal students by developing a partnership between the students, parents, their teachers and community members. It aimed to improve the participation and achievement of Aboriginal students in post-primary education, particularly in the post-compulsory years of schooling.
The Program also aimed to provide support and assistance for upper primary Aboriginal students and aid the transition of students between post-primary schools and tertiary education and training.
The Disadvantaged Schools Program provided funding for those schools with the highest concentrations of students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
These schools also received assistance in the development of curriculum to redress educational disadvantage.
The Literacy Program encompassed a number of projects linked to directions set out in the English Curriculum Framework for the years of compulsory schooling.
The Multicultural Education Program focused on the provision of high quality curriculum and language programs for people of different religious, geographic or ethnic backgrounds. Programs included Languages Other Than English (L.O.T.E.) and English as a Second Language (ESL).
The Numeracy Program was designed to improve numeracy skills in accordance with the Mathematics Framework for the years of compulsory schooling.
The Women and Girls' Program aimed to broaden the post-school options for women and girls through a broadening of curriculum choice and career aspirations. It promoted the development of a supportive school environment, an inclusive curriculum and adequate resources.
Functional Divisions within the Ministry
Several specialised units were responsible for facilitating the integration of children with impairments, disabilities or other problems into a regular school environment; for developing strategies to facilitate the re-organisation of schools; for co-ordinating and implementing processes to assist school evaluation and for providing advice and assistance to School Councils and Regional Boards.
The Schools Programs Division was responsible for the development of policies, guidelines and programs in the area of curriculum and social justice and for program evaluation and review. The Curriculum Programs section was responsible for providing advice to schools on school curriculum and organisation, curriculum content and teaching strategies. The Curriculum Projects Section developed educational programs, developed and disseminated course materials and curriculum information and undertook research projects.
The Social Justice section was responsible for co-ordinating the policy functions of several of the key educational programs including disadvantaged schools, students with disabilities, multicultural education, women and girls and Aboriginal Education Services which conducted special education programs for Aboriginal people; provided special teachers; employed Aboriginal teacher aides and Aboriginal cultural officers; ran Aboriginal Learning Centres for post-primary and adult students; provided information and support services and involved Aboriginal people in the development and operation of these programs.
The Across Division Section developed policies, guidelines and programs in the areas of computer education, equal educational opportunity, extension education, information systems related to educational settings and transition from primary to post-primary school and from school to work.
The eight Regional Offices were responsible for all matters relating to the administration and management of the school system, apart from the staffing and industrial relations functions managed by the Personnel and Industrial Relations Operations Section. Regional responsibilities included education programs, planning and support services for schools, non-teaching personnel, finance and facilities. Regional Boards were comprised of representatives of school councils in the region, representatives of state-wide parent, school council, teacher and local parent associations and representatives of the Ministry. Regional general managers sought the advice of Regional Boards on resource priorities and allocations and informed the Boards of State Office decisions on management of finance and facilities, employment of ancillary staff, promotion of school community relationships, and other areas of school operations.
The Division of Further Education was responsible for developing and implementing policies in relation to further education, in co-operation with other agencies working in the sector. Its responsibilities included the operations of the Council of Adult Education and the Adult Migrant Education Service. Its particular aim was to ensure the efficient, effective and equitable delivery of further education programs to targeted groups (such as disadvantaged people) and to support community providers. The Division was supported by eleven regional Councils of Further Education which advised the Minister on the needs for further education and how best to meet those needs in their region. The Adult Migrant Education Services section was responsible for the planning and delivery of English language programs for adults of non-English speaking background. It was the major service provider in Victoria of the national Adult Migrant Education Program.
In 1987 the Ministry assumed responsibility for:
- school attendance from the Department of Community Services (VA 2633)
- industrial and apprenticeship training from the Department of Labour II (VA 2777)
- the Industrial Training Commission (VA 900).
In 1990 responsibility for the provision of school bus services other than those to special and special development schools was transferred from:
- the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Transport (VA 673).
From 1 January 1991 responsibility for pre-school and child care programs previously administered by the Ministry of Education was transferred to:
- the Office of Pre-School and Child Care within the Department of Community Services (VA 2633).
Responsibility for state administration of national Children's Week was transferred from:
- the Department of Premier and Cabinet (VA 1039) to the Ministry as part of machinery of government changes in early 1991, and subsequently transferred to the Department of School Education (VA 3029) as part of administrative changes in October 1991 (see below).
For information about the role and responsibilities of the statutory authorities and boards within the Ministry, see VRG 35 Education. For further information about individual institutions see VRG 24 Educational Institutions.
Abolition of the Ministry of Education and Training and Administrative Change in the Period October 1991 to October 1992:
In January 1991, the Ministry of Education became the Ministry of Education and Training, but the change in name did not represent a change in functional responsibilities. The intention, according to the official press release issued by the Premier's Office, was to more clearly reflect the importance that training will play in Victoria's economic recovery.
In October 1991, further administrative changes resulted in the effective abolition of the Ministry and the separation of the responsibility for the administration of schools and post-secondary education. In the months following, there were significant but ultimately short-lived changes to the high level administrative structures associated with education.
In October 1991, under the provisions of Administrative Arrangements Order No. 97 1991 and associated amendments to Schedule Two of the Public Service Act 1974, the Ministry of Education and Training was abolished and five separate and independent administrative units were established. These were the:
- Department of School Education
- Office of Higher Education
- Division of Further Education
- Education and Training Strategic Policy Secretariat
- Office of the State Training Board.
It should be noted that while these administrative units had different titles (Department, Office, Division) they were all of the same administrative level (existing as 'Departments' under the Public Service Act 1974) and reported directly to the then Minister of Education and Training.
In February 1992, ministerial responsibility for education was divided between schools and post secondary education. The ministerial portfolio of Education and Training was abolished and replaced by the portfolios of School Education, and Employment, Post Secondary Education and Training. At the same time, the Education and Training Strategic Policy Secretariat and the Office of the State Training Board were abolished as departmental level administrative entities, and brought under the control of a newly created Department of Employment and Training. The Education and Training Strategic Policy Secretariat became the Policy Secretariat within the new department. These changes were published as part of Administrative Arrangements Order No. 102 in the Victorian Government Gazette No. G 6 on 12 February 1992.
In March 1992, the Division of Further Education was renamed the Office of the Adult, Community and Further Education Board.
Note: There is evidence to suggest the government also intended, in early 1992, to establish a departmental-level administrative unit known as the Ministry of Employment, Post Secondary Education and Training, to bring together those agencies responsible for the employment, post secondary education and training functions. This would have included the Office of Higher Education, Division of Further Education, and the Department of Employment and Training. However, it is not certain that the agency was formally established. The amendments to Schedule Two of the Public Service Act 1974 that would have been required to formally establish the agency were never gazetted (if, indeed, they were ever drafted).
Hence, by March 1992, at least according to the formal gazetted changes, there were four departmental-level administrative bodies responsible for education. This structure would remain stable until the election of the Kennett Liberal Government in October 1992. The bodies and their functions were as follows:
1). Department of School Education:
The Department of School Education was responsible for the administration of Victoria's primary and secondary schools in the provision of thirteen years of comprehensive education to students. The Department employed the teachers in the Government system and was also responsible for the co-ordination of education policy and the development of programs and materials in major areas of the curriculum.
2). Office of Higher Education:
Policies regarding higher education, also known as tertiary education, were the responsibility of the Office of Higher Education. The Office was primarily responsible for the provision of administrative support to the Victorian Post-Secondary Education Commission (VA 721) in the discharge of its functions under the Post-Secondary Education Act 1978.
3). Office of the Adult, Community and Further Education Board (formerly the Division of Further Education):
The Adult, Community and Further Education Board (VA 4280) was responsible for the administration of the Adult, Community and Further Education Act 1991. The functions of the Office included the planning, co-ordination and promotion of further education in Victoria and liaison with educational agencies, government departments and the Commonwealth government in relation to adult, community and further education matters.
4). Department of Employment and Training (including Office of the State Training Board, Policy Secretariat, and Office of Employment):
The Department of Employment and Training had responsibility for the development of employment policies and programs, the development and implementation of vocational education and training policies and programs and technical and further education policies and programs.
Office of the State Training Board
The Office of the State Training Board had responsibility for the management of vocational education, technical and further education and the State Training System. The State Training Board (VA 3002), a statutory authority, was responsible for accreditation of training programs and the registration of providers of training.
Statutory Authorities Associated with School Education, and Employment, Post Secondary Education and Training:
Within both the School Education and Employment, Post-Secondary Education and Training portfolios, there were a number of statutory authorities. Many of these are registered with PROV and researchers will find associated records attributed to these agencies rather than to the Department:
- Appointments Boards (Primary and Post-primary) (VA 4370)
- Council of Adult Education (VA 1195)
- Curriculum and Accreditation Secretariat (Victorian Post Secondary Education Accreditation Board) (VA 4085)
- Discharged Servicemen's Employment Board (VA 1083)
- Institute of Educational Administration (VA 1183)
- Registered Schools Board (VA 1225)
- State Board of Education (VA 1175)
- State Training Board (VA 3002)
- Teachers' Registration Board (VA 4087)
- Teaching Service Appeals Board
- Technical and Further Education Discipline Appeals Board
- Technical and Further Education Teaching Service Appeals Board
- Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board (VA 2727)
- Victorian Post-Secondary Education Commission (VA 721)
- Victorian Technical and Further Education Teaching Service Registration Board (VA 4113)
Administrative Restructure: First Kennett Government, October 1992:
In October 1992, following the election of the Kennett Government, the administration of school education and post secondary education and training was brought together under a newly created Department of Education (VA 3098). This was achieved by changing the name of the existing Department of School Education to the Department of Education. The Department assumed responsibility for the functions of the Department of School Education, the Department of Employment and Training (except employment, which transferred to VA 3096 Department of Business and Employment in December 1992), Office of the Adult, Community and Further Education Board, Office of Higher Education, and Office of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Board. These bodies were either abolished or ceased to operate as separate, independent, departmental-level administrative bodies, as defined by the Public Service Act 1974.
The ministerial portfolios of School Education, and Employment, Post-Secondary Education and Training, were replaced by newly created portfolios of Education, and Tertiary Education and Training.
PROV Agency Registration Practice for the Period 1991-1992:
In the interests of consolidation of information for researchers, and simplification, the separate administrative units established in the several months following October 1991 have not been registered individually within the PROV archival control system. The bodies were relatively short-lived and it is not clear just how far their implementation was achieved in practice. Instead, the changes from October 1991 have been detailed here within the descriptive text for the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry's end date artificially extended to 'by 1992'. Extension of the end date provides continuity between the Ministry and the Department of Education (VA 3098) within the PROV archival control system. For purposes of research using the PROV archival control system, researchers can assume VA 1112 Ministry of Education and Training to be the agency immediately previous to VA 3098 Department of Education.
Location of Records
See below for an inventory of record series. For records of the preceding agencies and related statutory authorities see List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.8.0. See also section 5.0.0 for records of individual institutions.