FOSTER Secondary College is officially the highest performing secondary school from Mallacoota all the way to down near Dandenong.
Principal Matt McPhee and Vice Principal Dean Duursma were handed their School Performance Report last week and they could not be happier.
Shane Wainwright the Senior Education Improvement Leader for South East Victoria Region of DET went over the report and the school’s performance with the school leadership last week.
Mr. Wainwright is responsible for overseeing school performance in the area.
On all measures the school is performing at the highest level so much so that it is acting as an influencer.
“That means that as a ‘system leader’ people will be sent from under-performing schools to learn what we’re doing so they can take it back to their schools,” said Matt.
When he came to Foster Secondary College 3 years ago Matt felt the school was quite different to any other he had worked in.
“I don’t think the community here realises just how high performing we are,” he said.
“Why would you send your child 45 minutes up the road and pay $8000 and get something inferior. We beat the private schools hands down.
“People think because it’s private it’s better and that’s just not the case.”
“Any local child that gets on a bus to attend secondary school outside the local area is one child too many. Foster Secondary College is first and foremost a community school and our goal is to have every local child enjoy the benefits of the outstanding education and pastoral care on offer here.”
The school was rated highly in reading, numeracy, student attitude, school climate and engagement.
“Our VCE results have been excellent for the past few years. Our 2015 Dux, Chloe Wood was featured in the Herald Sun. The school does an amazing job at supporting all students to find their pathway regardless of their performance in VCE,” Matt said.
“Over the past three years every graduating student has ended up doing what they were planning to do.”
Dean Duursma agrees. “Whether it was a vet course or an apprenticeship, full-time employment or a university course, they were all able to achieve a successful outcome.”
Matt says the morale at the school is fantastic at the moment.
“There’s a real sense of common purpose and we’ve had a couple of big wins moneywise.”
The gym roof has been repaired for around $500,000 and it didn’t cost the school a cent.
The school successfully put in two emergency maintenance applications to the Education Department.
“We’re pretty pumped. We feel the place is humming along nicely,” Matt said.
“Foster Secondary College is a high performing school with dedicated staff making a real difference for our kids.”