Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to trace the restructure of the Victorian Education Department in Australia during the years 1980-1992. It examines how the restructuring of the department resulted in a generational reorganization of secondary schooling. This reorganization culminated in the closure of secondary technical schools that today continues to have enduring effects on access and equity to different types of secondary schooling. Design/methodology/approach - The history is based on documentary and archival research and draws on publications from the State government of Victoria, Education Department/Ministry of Education Annual Reports and Ministerial Statements and Reviews, Teacher Union Archives, Parliamentary Debates and unpublished theses and published works. Findings - As an outcome the restructuring of the Victorian Education Department, schools and the reorganization of secondary schooling, a dual system of secondary schools was abolished. The introduction of a secondary colleges occurred through a process of rationalization of schools and what secondary schooling would entail. Originality/value - This study traces how, over a decade, eight ministers of education set about to reform education by dismantling and undoing the historical development of Victoria s distinctive secondary schools system.