Multiple pathways at Goondiwindi State High School - an education and industry partnership
The Multiple Pathways program at Goondiwindi State High Schoolis a lighthouse
example for other rural communities to engage in a training agenda. The Goondiwindi
State High School has played the role of lead agency in the wider community as it has
focused on providing training and skilling opportunities for its students in partnership
with local industry. The complexity of meeting formal training requirements in rural
remote communities who have no access to either training providers or training facilities
deters most stakeholders from pursuing formal quality training.
Destination studies undertaken by Goondiwindi State High School provide detailed
analysis of students' employment and training qualifications five years after their
completion of Year 12. These studies indicated that the 70% of students who moved to
fulltime local employment were being significantly disadvantaged by a lack of formalised
training. The results of the first destination studies undertaken in 1994 indicated that of
this 70%, only 1.3% were formally qualified or involved in any post school training.
Without access to training these graduates face reduced mobility and limited long-term
work prospects. The school embraced the opportunity to formalise qualifications for
students through a partnership of training with the business community.
The early stages of Vocational Education in our school involved the delivery of TRAC
(Training in Retail and Commerce). Our naivety about the complexity of delivering
formal qualifications was only dwarfed by our enthusiasm!
What makes our program outstanding is its diversity and the level of student
participation, employer participation, parental support and successfully overcoming the
extraordinary difficulties of dealing with the range of stakeholders involved. The
program's success has been validated by education (as a recipient of Education
Queensland's inaugural 2000 Showcase Award for Excellence) as well as by industry (as
recipient of the Queensland Training Award for the McDonald's Australia Vocational
Education and Training in Schools Excellence Award).
Strategically it was important to work collaborativeIy and cooperativeIy with local
employers. The school initiated many information evenings (involving employers,
parents and students); business breakfasts; employer training sessions; and door-to-door
promotion. Many man hours, personal effort and effective management have
cuIminated in the extraordinary success of the Goondiwindi State High School Vocational
Education program in 2000.