Our partnerships

​Information on our partnerships with community groups and bodies.

Partnership agreement with Municipal Association of Victoria

The Department-MAV partnership agreement outlines mutual support between the Department and the Municipal Association of Victoria to:

  • improve outcomes for children, young people and their families
  • help ensure that every Victorian is given the best learning and development experience
  • make our state smarter, fairer and a more prosperous place.

It recognises the collaborative relationship between the Department and councils in:

  • the planning, development and provision of initiatives
  • infrastructure and services across early childhood, schools, TAFE and training.


The agreement provides a formal set of high-level principles to guide the partnership between the Department and the MAV in its representation of local councils, committing both parties to:

  • mutual understanding and respect of mandates and responsibilities
  • transparency of financial relations, subject to relevant legislation and policies
  • mutual support in representations to the Commonwealth
  • awareness of synergies between the Department, the MAV and councils
  • sustaining and improving outcomes for children and families in all communities
  • fostering of opportunities to work collaboratively, and transparent and timely communication and consultation.

Action plans are developed annually under the partnership agreement on a financial year basis. These are reviewed and updated throughout the year.

The agreement was signed on 30 March 2018.


Achievements to date include:

  1. The Early years compact is a compact between the Department, DHHS and local government (represented by MAV) 2017-2027 Supporting Children and Families in the Early Years was signed on 28 April 2017. 
  2. Review of the Early childhood agreement for children in out of home care and subsequent improvements including the confirmation of local government positions to support the agreement, and weekly notification of data.
  3. Development of the new MCH memorandum of understanding.
  4. Joint advocacy on universal access to support continued Commonwealth funding for 15 hours of kindergarten funding.
  5. Representation on a variety of the Department’s governance groups including:
    • Victorian Children’s Council
    • DET Coleman Foundation Partnership Committee
    • Early Years Compact Board and Compact Steering Group
    • Marrung Central Governance Board
    • New Technical Schools State-Wide Policy Implementation Panel
    • Maternal and Child Health Expert Reference Group
    • Children and Youth Implementation Working Group
    • Early Childhood Development Advisory Group.

Quarterly Governance Group Meeting Communiques


Visit  Municipal Association of Victoriato find out more.

Partnership agreement with the Victorian Community sector

In September 2018, the Secretary of the Department and the CEO, Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) signed the Department-Victorian Community Sector Partnership Agreement 2018-22, refreshing the 2014-2018 partnership agreement.

The partnership agreement recognises the community sector as an important partner to the Department in the development of policy, the delivery of services and the improvement of outcomes of all Victorians, particularly for those who are vulnerable or experiencing disadvantage.

It recommits the Department and the community sector to increased collaboration, consultation and engagement. The aims of the partnership agreement are achieved through annual action plans agreed to by the Department and VCOSS, who is responsible for furthering the partnership on behalf of the sector.


This Agreement is based upon a model of engagement emphasising cooperation and commitment to the following principles:

  • a shared vision to achieve the best possible learning and development outcomes for all Victorians, particularly the vulnerable or disadvantaged
  • mutual respect for each partner’s autonomy and responsibilities, while recognising that true partnership may require change, innovation and risk
  • collaboration and the fostering of opportunities to work together on issues of mutual benefit or concern
  • communication, consultation and engagement on decisions by one partner that will impact upon the other
  • transparency of financial relations between the Department, VCOSS and the sector, subject to relevant legislation and policies
  • a relationship that celebrates success, addresses challenges and acknowledges contributions to outcomes that are achieved
  • joint leadership of the partnership, including joint agenda setting.


Some significant achievements to date include:

  • the establishment of the Victorian community partnership governance group, which provides a regular forum for relationship building, policy development, and the exchange of information
  • annual Victorian community sector forums on topics of mutual interest, which are attended by Ministers from all three education portfolios
  • the publication of Creating engaging schools for all children and young people: What works – research by the community sector identifying principles of good practice to keep children engaged at school.

Visit the Victorian Council of Social Service to find out more.

Quarterly Governance Group Meeting Communiques


Strategic Partnerships program

The Strategic Partnerships program (SPP) provides funding to not-for-profit organisations to deliver programs to improve student achievement, engagement, health and wellbeing and/or teacher capacity.

The SPP supports organisations to provide programs for students and teachers that enable them to access learning opportunities not usually available in mainstream classrooms.

SPP runs on a triennial basis, across Victoria. Programs are funded in two distinct program categories:

  • student learning
  • teacher professional learning

2018–20 triennium

In the current triennium 97 organisations are being funded to deliver a total of 108 programs. The programs offered through the SPP vary in duration and intensity, ranging from once off excursions through to year-long mentoring or professional development programs.

Some programs are free of charge and others incur a small fee to participate.

Priority areas of focus

For the 2018-20 triennium, we have expanded the reach of the SPP to better target disadvantaged cohorts, including:

  • students from disadvantaged or low SES backgrounds
  • rural and regional students
  • students with disability
  • Koorie students
  • students with English as an Additional Language
  • students in Out of Home Care.

Funded programs

View the programs and organisations funded in the current triennium (xlsx - 43.47kb).

Application process for the Strategic Partnerships Program

As a result of the challenges of 2020, the Victorian Government will defer the start of the next funding round of the Strategic Partnerships Program (SPP).

Applications for the next SPP funding round are now expected to open by June-July 2021, with funding commencing in January 2022.

If you would like to be notified of when the application period opens for the next funding round, please email strategic.partnerships@education.vic.gov.auto be added to our email list.

More information

For additional information regarding the Strategic Partnerships Program, email strategic.partnerships@edumail.vic.gov.au or phone 7022 0375.