Melbourne Girls' College

Melbourne Girls' College

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Enrolment Process for Year 7 entry for 2017
The 2017 Melbourne Girls’ College Year 7 Enrolment Policy    Please note aspects of this policy are an interim measure until the new Richmond High School opens in 2017.
Melbourne Girls’ College is committed to:
  1. providing a clear and transparent enrolment policy for all out of area students.
  2. providing an efficient process of enrolment that satisfies the needs of students, parents and guardians.
  3. ensuring that every enrolling student enjoys a smooth transition, thus becoming a member of our school community with a minimum of disruption and maximum support.
It must be noted however, that all placements are subject to the availability of accommodation.                     Please see: 
Students applying for placement at Melbourne Girls’ College will be enrolled in the following priority order:
  1. Students for whom the school is the designated neighborhood government school.
  2. Students with a sibling at the same permanent residence who are attending the school at the same time.
  3. 50% of places remaining after criteria 1 and 2 will be allocated to students seeking enrolment on specific curriculum grounds which are the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics – S.T.E.A.M.
  4. Remaining places will be allocated to students in order of closeness of their permanent residence to Melbourne Girls’ College.
  5. In exceptional circumstances, compassionate grounds
Why is S.T.E.A.M. important in a high performing State girls’ school
Creativity, problem solving and innovative thinking are essentials to future life skills. Nurturing future female leaders in S.T.E.A.M. is at the core of this curriculum. As a high performing State girls’ school we need to ensure we lead solutions to issues such as the world-wide decline in girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the declining trend in Australian 15 year old girls’ interest and confidence in Information Technology coding and mathematics. This is currently below the O.E.C.D. average. The introduction of the Arts into S.T.E.M. is based on international research about the curiosity and creativity skills fostered in this discipline and its impact on innovative thinking. The Arts develops complementary abilities, understandings, skills and habits of mind in the areas of inquiry, problem-solving, and design. The O.E.C.D. executive summary on agility and movement determined there are no right and wrong answers, only agile thinkers, prepared to take risks. World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students by Yong Zhao and research from Harvard, Stanford, York and Warwick Universities illustrate the relevance of S.T.E.A.M. to future academic success, employment and quality of life.
Curriculum Grounds Selection Process
  1. Students seeking entry to Melbourne Girls’ College under curriculum grounds must be registered with the College Enrolments Officer by a set date.
  2. Each registered student will be allocated a number to provide anonymity for the selection process. This is a similar process to that undertaken for externally assessed examinations in the Victorian Certificate of Education under the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
  3. Registered students will be invited to attend the school on the second Saturday in June where they will be provided the opportunity to provide written responses to questions relating to the curriculum grounds.
  4. There will be no time limit on the amount of time students take to complete the questions.
  5. The responses will be assessed by a panel of four people from Melbourne Girls’ College. The panel will include representatives of the Mathematics, Arts, Technology, Science Faculties and one member of the Principal class team of the College.
  6. The criteria for assessment are:                                                                                    
    • Demonstrates capability and interest in at least one of the following areas- Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics
    • Demonstrates authentic student voice
    • Uses clear examples from the students’ own learning to support statements made in response to the questions

Published 17/04/2016

Melbourne Girls’ College (MGC) School Council and Principal Group response to media comments by Richard Wynne, MP for Richmond in The Age (31 March) and on 3AW (1 April).
Melbourne Girls’ College (MGC) School Council and Principal Group response to media comments by Richard Wynne, MP for Richmond in The Age (31 March) and on 3AW (1 April).
The College categorically denies claims made in the media by Mr. Wynne and Yarra City Councilor, Stephen Jolly, a former MGC parent, that the school’s enrolment processes discriminate against students who live in public housing.
Our school is proud that our students come from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds.
In November 2015, after the MGC enrolment process was concluded and a full cohort of students established for Year 7 in 2016, Mr. Wynne intervened in our school’s enrolment process by requesting that the Minister for Education overrule an enrolment decision by the school and the Department of Education's North Western Victorian Region.  
The School Council wrote to the Minister for Education on 25 November 2015, seeking to clarify the basis for his intervention in the school's orderly enrolment processes, given that those processes closely follow the Department's enrolment guidelines for government schools. The School Council is yet to receive a reply to its letter.
This incident has broader implications for the administration of enrolment processes at all government schools. 
From its inception in 1994, Melbourne Girls’ College has been a school dedicated to fostering opportunities for academic and personal excellence across a diverse student cohort. Our stated values of inclusivity, equity and an emphasis upon girls’ leadership skills have guided our curriculum planning, our pedagogical practice, our enrolment policies and their implementation.
We would like to accept every girl who applies to Melbourne Girls’ College. However, applications for admission at Year 7 have long exceeded places available.  Moreover, as the demographics of the Richmond area shift, the College has found that it has fewer and fewer positions available for out-of-zone students.
In the difficult process of determining which applicants to accept from such a large pool of out-of-zone applications, we have always been guided by our commitment to equity and diversity, as well as by existing laws and departmental policy governing enrolment decisions.
We have consciously resisted enrolment criteria for our out-of-zone applicants that might inadvertently advantage students from higher socio-economic backgrounds (such as extra-curricular activities, language continuity or SEAL programs), seeking rather to welcome those girls who demonstrate active alignment with the school’s values and an interest in making a difference to their community.
By asking our out-of-zone applicants to respond broadly to questions about leadership, initiative and teamwork, we are looking for individuals – irrespective of background – who are most likely to engage with and benefit from the school’s focus on girls’ leadership.
Enrolment decisions are made by state secondary schools within a strictly prescribed legal and policy framework. The starting position within that framework is that all Victorian students have a right of entry to the school that is nearest to their permanent place of residence (their "designated neighbourhood school"). For inner city schools, in particular, this right of entry combined with a growing local population, means that fewer and fewer places are available for out-of-zone students each year.
Where there are insufficient places at a school for all students who seek entry at Year 7, schools are required by current departmental guidelines to accept students in the following priority order:
  1. Students for whom the school is the designated neighbourhood school.
  2. Students with a sibling at the same permanent residence who are attending the school at the same time.
  3. Students seeking enrolment on specific curriculum grounds, where it is not provided by the student’s nearest government school.
    • For example, this criterion applies to senior secondary programs including VCE, VET
    • Historically, ‘girls’ leadership’ has been the specific curriculum focus at MGC, although the College is currently awaiting advice from the Department as to whether this will continue to be the case for 2016 into 2017. Melbourne Girls’ College was established in 1994 with a mission to provide a curriculum with a girls’ leadership focus to girls from wider Melbourne (once the right of entry for local students had been accommodated.) Under the category of girls’ leadership as a curriculum ground, applicants answer four questions based on leadership experiences, initiative and teamwork. All responses are read independently by a four-person selection panel.
  4. All of the other students in order of closeness of their permanent residence to the school.
  5. In exceptional circumstances, on compassionate grounds.
In 2015, based on the physical resources at MGC, we had 225 places available for Year 7 students in 2016. Of this number, there were:
  • 99 places allocated to in-zone students
  • 57 places allocated to siblings of existing students
  • 69 allocated to out-of-zone students (taken from 435 applications for these 69 out-of-zone places).
This process was completed by September, 2015 and all applicants notified of the outcome. There were 366 more applications for entry than places were available.
Some of the unsuccessful applications appealed. The Department of Education and Training's North Western Victorian Region considered the appeals in accordance with the established legal and policy framework. That process was completed by 22 October, 2015 with one successful appeal.
Melbourne Girls’ College (and the schools to which the unsuccessful applicants were to attend) got on with the process of planning for the 2016 year, including employment of teachers, timetabling and other resource decisions.
The intervention of Mr.  Wynne occurred very late in the year causing significant disruption to this planning. In particular for Melbourne Girls’ College it meant an additional year 7 class had to be formed with resulting impacts on overall student numbers, classrooms, lockers, timetabling and other resources.
We are proud to be a government school and to provide high-quality educational experiences and opportunities for the diversity of girls who attend MGC. Given that our school is oversubscribed by out-of-zone students, we have worked consistently to ensure that our enrolment processes are fair, transparent and provide access to as many girls as the school can sustainably support.
Published 11/04/2016

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