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Changing the lives of Maryborough students

The Victorian Government’s massive funding boost for Maryborough schools that need it most is reaping strong results.

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino visited the Maryborough Education Centre to see first-hand how equity funding has made a real difference.

In 2015 the Victorian Government announced a huge increase to ‘equity funding, which took effect from the start of 2016. It provides additional resources and expertise to get the best out of students who require extra support.

The $566 million increase over four years is designed to break the cycle of disadvantage and stop students disengaging from school and giving up on their studies.

More than 2,800 staff have been added to Victorian Government schools since the funding boost, including 1,600 teachers and 1,200 support staff such as speech pathologists, literacy and numeracy coaches and social workers.

Maryborough Education Centre is using equity funding to make subjects more practical and fun. Teachers are learning new skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and running extra-curricular programs like the Coding Club and 3D Design Club to keep kids engaged.

These programs are making a real difference. “When they start early, their minds are open to take knowledge to another level,” maths and science teacher Angus McPherson said.

Since the investment, there has been a 29 per cent increase in students enrolled in STEM subjects compared to 2013-14, and an improvement in the mean study score for all STEM subjects.

Research shows the link between disadvantage and low levels of school achievement, with some students facing barriers to success from day one at school.

The Victorian Government is levelling the playing field, putting education funding where it’s needed most – adding teachers and support staff to government schools across Victoria.

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