Flexible Learning Options (FLO) delivers individual learning programs (ILPs) designed to encourage students to stay in education by pursuing subjects that interest them, rather than following a traditional school curriculum.
The combination of a flexible timetable and ILPs makes it less overwhelming for students, who are offered electives in subjects of personal interest such as cooking, health, nutrition and gardening.
Also available are Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subjects – physical education and art. The program also recognises paid work and project work as part of Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) studies in children’s services, hospitality, automotive, hair and beauty, agriculture, engineering and building.
Murray Mallee LLEN has been a project partner since 2011 when the Swan Hill FLO steering committee successfully applied for funding under the Youth Partnerships initiative to develop an alternative education setting.
In 2012, the Swan Hill FLO program started with 18 students and in 2014, had an enrolment of 44 students and farewelled its first round of Year 12 students.
The program has resulted in marked improvements in attendance, behaviour management, self-esteem, social ability and learning outcomes – especially in the compulsory subjects of numeracy and literacy.