Changing The Lives Of Western Suburbs Students

The Andrews Labor Government’s massive funding boost to support schools and students that need it most in the western suburbs is reaping strong results.

Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Footscray Marsha Thompson visited Braybrook College today to see first-hand how equity funding has made a real difference.

In 2015, the Labor Government announced a huge increase to equity funding , which took effect from  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, supporting programs that help students catch up in literacy and numeracy, and enabling schools to offer electives like coding and music that keep kids engaged.

The funding boost has enabled Braybrook College to set up a Numeracy Centre with a maths teacher on hand to answer questions  and give students extra support, which has improved their NAPLAN numeracy results.

The school’s Numeracy Leader, Morag Brennan said a lot of students have maths ability but lack the perseverance to solve problems. “The main issue is confidence. If they don’t think they can do it then they won’t attempt it so they need a place to encourage self-confidence,” she said.

Research shows an unacceptable link between disadvantage and low levels of school achievement, with some students facing greater barriers from day one at school. The Labor Government is levelling the playing field, putting education funding where it’s needed most, and adding valuable teachers and support staff to government schools across Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino

“We want every child, in every school, to fulfil their potential. A child’s school results shouldn’t be restricted by their background.”

“This funding is making a real difference – boosting the numbers of teachers and support staff, and transforming the lives of children across Victoria.”

Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Marsha Thompson

“This funding boost will help the students who need  it the most. It’s about giving schools like Braybrook the resources they need to give our kids the best possible education.”

Quote attributable to Braybrook College Principal Kelly Panousieris

“The students who are using the centre really enjoy it. They look at it as their space, their own little space. They tell me they now feel more confident going into tests.” 

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