Students in Melbourne’s western suburbs who are at risk of dropping out of school will be given more support to stay in class thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Student Mentoring Program.

The Labor Government today announced $1 million in grants for 21 schools and organisations as part of the second round of funding for the program.

Local Member for Werribee Tim Pallas said this includes $120,000 for the Anglicare Victoria Mentor + program.

The program provides mentor and tutor support services to 12 to 17-year-old students who are vulnerable or at risk of dropping out of school to help build their self-confidence, resilience and give them a better understanding of their options for work or further education after school.

The program brings together local schools, families and mentors to increase positive connections and engagement in student learning, with both students and their families working together to set goals and direction.

The program will be delivered in collaboration with various schools in Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley and Wyndham, including Werribee Secondary College.

The Labor Government’s Student Mentoring Program aims to keep disadvantaged students engaged and participating in education, with a focus on supporting Indigenous students, students in out-of-home care, or those from low socio-economic or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The program contributes to the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State targets of happy, healthy and resilient kids, and breaking the link between outcomes and disadvantage.

More than 1000 students received support from 500 mentors under the first round of the program in 2016-17.

Students, mentors and teachers all reported improved student attitudes, behaviour and resilience, and built strong pathways to further learning and employment.

Quotes attributable to Tim Pallas Member for Werribee:

“We know that keeping students in school and engaged in their education is vital to break the cycle disadvantage and give all of our kids the best opportunities in life.”

“Connecting students in Melbourne’s western suburbs with mentors will help them build self-confidence and set goals for the future, which will help them stay in school and have more opportunities to succeed in life.”