Education State
Principals Conference 2022

Accelerating, deepening and extending the learning of high-ability senior secondary students

Accelerating, deepening and extending the learning of high-ability senior secondary students


There are two main aims of this session. The first aim is to introduce the new opportunities for senior-secondary government school students through the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES). The second aim is to explore the challenges faced by high-ability students and the ways we currently meet their needs across schools, including the practices of acceleration, ability-grouping, enrichment, and differentiation to deepen and extend student learning and address their wellbeing, engagement and interpersonal needs. CHES will commence accelerated studies for high-ability students from January 2023 and will provide select VCE studies and Higher Education Studies in partnership with universities. Students will typically study just one subject with CHES while remaining enrolled at their current school for the balance of their VCE program. CHES will employ a “hy-flex” approach to curriculum delivery to enable students across Victoria to participate fully online or on-site. The CHES hy-flex model will also be introduced through this workshop.

Stewart Milner
Foundation Principal
, Centre for Higher Education Studies

Stewart Milner is the Foundation Principal for the new Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES), commencing programs in 2023. Stewart began his career in 1999 teaching Japanese, humanities, commerce and EAL in Sunbury and Essendon. He has held numerous leadership roles within DET, implementing centres of excellence, leadership coaching, language education initiatives, and literacy and numeracy programs in some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged communities. In 2011, Stewart was appointed as Assistant Principal at Suzanne Cory High School in Werribee. Over the next five years, he was responsible for leading the development of the school-wide curriculum, teaching and learning framework, and professional learning programs to meet the needs of high-ability and high-achieving students. In 2016, Stewart was appointed as Principal of Coburg High School. Coburg High School has since expanded from 340 students to 1,200 students with steady improvements in NAPLAN and VCE outcomes. In 2021, Stewart was seconded to the role of Acting Senior Education Improvement Leader (SEIL) in the Banyule Nillumbik network.