The Andrews Labor Government’s investment in Ballarat schools that need it most is reaping strong results.
Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard today visited Dana Street Primary School to see first-hand how equity funding is making a real difference.
In 2015 the Labor 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.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“We want every child in every school to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. A child’s school results should not be restricted by their background.”
“This funding is transforming the lives of children across Victoria and boosting the numbers of teachers and support staff; it’s making a real difference.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
“Our funding boost to help students like Decklan who need it most is wonderful news for Ballarat.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
“This funding boost means that children get tailored support so they can get the best out of themselves.”
Quotes attributable to Dana Street School Principal, Paul Nolan
“Equity funding means that none of our students will slip through the cracks and get left behind.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020