Benefits of Membership
VESS comprises a diverse group of member schools which share commitment and vision for their schools and the System. The key benefit to member schools is the ability to join the System and gain all the advantages of being part of a collective, without needing to adhere to any prescribed mould, beliefs or processes. As VESS members, schools are able to retain their independence and individuality.
VESS supports a smaller membership model in order to create a comfortable and collegial environment for the sharing of ideas at meetings and at other System engagements. As a result, the relationship between members is more cohesive and supportive than some larger networking groups. VESS Principals value the advice they derive from one another and from the System’s Executives.
Member schools are able to share in a range of learning opportunities. Principals and Business Managers are provided with leadership and governance based professional development presentations, at meetings and the Annual Conference. Teachers and student leaders are offered the opportunity to attend system-wide learning events, which not only offer high calibre presenters, but also the chance to meet and collaborate with counterparts from other member schools. And the introduction of the VESS Learning Leaders Network provides a forum for group learning and evidence-based research to be conducted by the curriculum leaders within VESS schools.
Not solely educationally focussed, the System also provides guidance and professional learning opportunities to schools in areas of governance, financial viability and risk, in order to promote strong school leadership and sustainability within members.
VESS acts as a conduit between the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments, which means that members generally do not need to deal directly and individually with the education departments at both levels of government. Many of the reporting requirements for State and Commonwealth funding are done by the VESS Office on behalf of member schools.
The System acknowledges that many of its members are faced with specific challenges due to their location in regional centres, and seeks to provide an effective means of addressing these problems for schools and school leaders.
Collectively, VESS members have a stronger voice than they do individually. The schools which belong to the System are able to take comfort in the knowledge that they are part of a group representing over 16,000 local students, over 3,000 staff, and over 17 different geographic areas across Victoria.