School history

School background‘Everyone has the right to an education’, (Article 26, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

In October 2010, the Victorian Ombudsman’s report made a series of recommendations to improve conditions in the state’s youth custodial system. The report criticised the lack of education available to children and young people in detention. Ian Lanyon was appointed the Director of Secure Services at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct, and began making changes aligned with the reports recommendations.

Brendan Murray, co-founder of the Pavilion School, was awarded the Victorian Education Department’s Secondary Teacher of the Year award in 2009 for his efforts developing the Pavilion School, a facility of last resort for children not receiving education in Melbourne’s north. As a result, he was granted a trip to New York where he met with Maddie Witter, founding Teacher of KIPP Infinity School, an institution for disadvantaged students based in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the United States.

Years later, Brendan convinced Maddie to relocate to Australia to assist with his proposed new school, as literacy consultant, where they pitched the concept of Parkville College operating within the youth justice system, to the Victorian State Government.

On 31 July 2012, the Minister for Education formally established Parkville College, to commence operation as a Victorian Government School on 30 January 2013 at the Parkville Campus (Parkville Youth Justice Precinct) and the Malmsbury Campus (Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct), for 52 weeks a year.

Parkville College was formed as part of the reform project to improve the quality of education in the youth justice system to students who are, or have been, detained in custody within Secure Services, Victoria. As well as to ensure legislative requirements for children and young people in the care of the state were met.

We commenced the operation of Parkville College in 2013 with only six teaching staff, and now have over 130 members of teaching and support staff.

Working in unison with the Department of Human and Health Services (DHHS) and Department of Justice and Regulation (DJR), we now deliver education and support across seven locations throughout Victoria.

Timeline of growth ‘That’s why they treat us the way they do at Parkville College; they see what we can become,’ (Anonymous student, 2014).

31 July 2012
The Minister for Education formally established Parkville College at Parkville Youth Justice Precinct and Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct, in response to recommendations from the Ombudsman report in October 2010.

January 2013
Parkville College officially commenced operation at the Parkville Campus and Malmsbury Campus. At both campuses, Parkville College delivered the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) at Foundation, Intermediate and Senior levels, and the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), to its students.

February 2014
Parkville College commenced operation at the Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Service facility in Fairfield, supporting people who display high-risk antisocial behaviour, and who are at risk of, or are already involved with the criminal justice system.

Parkville College extended the Parkville Campus to create the Flexible Learning Centre, which serves as a transitional campus and is designed for young people who have been involved with the youth justice system. The Flexible Learning Centre allows students to extend their enrolment with Parkville College upon exiting custody, giving them continuity and stability in their education.

April 2014
Parkville College replaced the Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE in the provision of Vocational Education and Training (VET) subjects at the Malmsbury Campus.

June 2014
Parkville College commenced the Education Justice Initiative, based at the Melbourne Children’s Court, supporting young people appearing before the courts, proving them with an appropriate education pathway through liaison and advocacy with schools, alternative settings and training providers, and engagement with young people and their families.

October 2014
Parkville College commenced operation at the Maribyrnong and Ascot Vale Secure Welfare Campuses, providing education to children who are at substantial risk of harm, and subject to a child protection order.

January 2015
The Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre became the Malmsbury Youth Justice Precinct, with a 45-bed maximum-security expansion, where Parkville College began teaching at the commencement of term 1.

April 2017
As of the 4th of April the Department of Justice and Regulation (DJR) assumed responsibility for the Parkville and Marmsbury Campuses. The Department of Human and Health Services remain in control of the Secure Welfare and The Disability Forensic Assessment and Treatment Service DFATS sites.

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Our philosophy

At Parkville College, students are diligently supported by a team of dedicated teaching staff, who work towards the full development of the human personality. We assist our students to develop whilst detained, to enable them to reintegrate into society. We don’t expect individuals on leaving detention to have miraculously transformed, without showing them alternate ways of viewing the world.

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Our values

Studies suggest that not only do students tend to match the expectations laid out for them, but also they are reasonably accurate in perceiving the extent to which teachers favour some students over others. People don’t come in one standard shape or size, and their minds don’t either. At Parkville College, we believe in inclusive education, and that to be excluded is to be disempowered.

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