The Victorian Government’s investment in Ballarat schools that need it most is reaping strong results.
Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard visited Dana Street Primary School to see first-hand how equity funding is making a real difference.
In 2015 the Government announced a huge increase to equity funding, which took effect from the start of 2016.
It provides extra resources and expertise to get the best out of students who need more 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 like speech pathologists, literacy and numeracy coaches and social workers.
This funding is improving the lives of students across Victoria. Schools are introducing programs to help students catch up in literacy and numeracy and offering electives such as coding and music to keep kids engaged in school.
Dana Street Primary School is using equity funding to make sure no student falls behind. All students who are below the expected level in reading and writing are supported through an individual Student Learning Plan.
As a result, students like Decklan, who is in grade four, have significantly improved their reading and writing: “I used to always want to be able to read chapter books, and now I can,” he said.
The support of his teachers means he has started to enjoy subjects like maths.
“I try to do things myself but when I get stuck on a question I can always ask them.”
Research shows the link between disadvantage and low levels of school achievement, with some students facing barriers to success from day one at school.
Source: Vic Government