Country public schools have ranked as the state’s most improved, new data reveals.
Murrayville Community College, in the state’s far northwest, lifted its median VCE study score from 24 in 2012 to 32 last year.
Its results are now on par with Victoria’s most expensive private school, Geelong Grammar.
The Good Schools Guide, to be released today, shows Tyrrell, Apollo Bay P-12 and Ballarat Secondary colleges were also among the most improved over the five years.
Murrayville Community College principal Natasha Mudie said the school had made widespread changes for senior students.
Free periods were removed, uniforms brought back and teachers pushed the importance of writing in every class, including science.
“Our focus was on improving VCE scores for a number of years but we had no improvement,” Ms Mudie said.
“Teachers were trying to do things in their own ways but it was hit and miss.
“We’ve worked really hard, reset our values and tried to improve the culture in our school.
“Finally it is starting to come together and we are getting the results now.”
Ballarat Secondary College boosted its median study score from 23 to 27 over the five years.
A student recorded the school’s highest ever ATAR score, 99.3, last year.
Principal Ricky Gervasoni said the school put more emphasis on preparing for exams and now offered tutoring outside class hours.
“Everyone wants to do better,” he said.
“It takes that initial spark to say let’s do it and make a difference.
“It then become infectious, students feed off themselves and teachers do the same.
“It’s proven that students who come to our school can achieve to the highest level.”
He said more parents were researching the performance and culture of schools to pick one that suited their child.
“At the end of the day, every student and parent wants a school that fits their child’s requirements,” he said.
“We are seeing a lot more now that a family with two or three children are not necessarily sending them to the same school.
“The parents are being more discerning and choosing something that fits the individual student.”
Most improved schools — 2012 v 2016 median study scores
- Murrayville Community College — 24 v 32
- Tyrrell College — 23 v 29
- Apollo Bay P-12 College — 28 v 32
- Ballarat Secondary College — 23 v 27
- Hoppers Crossing Secondary College — 25 v 29
For more information visit www.goodschools.com.au.
This article originally appeared in Herald Sun – Good Education Guide reveals country schools lifting their VCE results