Education State: Largest-Ever Funding Boost To Schools For Kids Who Need Extra Help

The Andrews Labor Government is making Victoria the Education State, with students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from the largest-ever increase in needs-based funding for Victorian government schools.

Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $747 million in extra funds over four years to deliver great schools for every community and great teachers in every classroom.

$493 million of that funding will be targeted at students most in need of help, to break the cycle of disadvantage and give our kids the best opportunities to succeed.

The extra funding will flow from the start of the 2016 school year, and $148.8 million will be provided in ongoing funding from 2019-20.

When combined with the $72.3 million catch-up boost over four years to help secondary students who have fallen behind, this equates to an increase of more than 70 per cent in funding for kids requiring extra help at school.

A new model for allocating the funding will use parents’ education levels, the concentration of disadvantage in a school, and parental occupation, to target funds to where they are needed most.

Under this new model, the highest-need students are those attending the most disadvantaged schools, and whose parents have not completed Year 12 and are unemployed or in a low-skilled occupation.

We’re also ensuring kids most in need get extra help by giving schools guidance and support to use evidence-based teaching, tailored to respond to the specific challenges facing their students.

This may include improving the ability of teachers to adapt teaching based on a child’s developmental needs, as well as training for principals in how to coach and lead teams, and how to better use student data to inform teaching and learning programs.

The 2015/16 Victorian Budget was the single biggest injection of education funding in Victorian history, providing almost $4 billion in additional funds.  We are building schools and helping families with the costs of uniforms, glasses, camps, excursions and more.

Our Budget built the foundations of the Education State, but the next step is all about helping our kids learn, giving parents confidence, and giving teachers the resources and skills they need to do what they do best.

We need to focus on strong school leadership, better teaching, more collaboration between teachers and schools, and resources targeted at student need – all of it backed up by expert advice and robust evidence.

Over the last few months, thousands of Victorians told us that our schools are ‘good’. The system isn’t broken, but more work needs to be done. We must take our schools from good to great, and we must support the kids who need extra help. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re making Victoria the Education State. Schools will get extra funds next year, billions will build buildings and improve young lives, and our curriculum will be amongst the most comprehensive in the world.”

“We’ve secured $747 million to deliver great schools for every community and great teachers in every classroom, and $493 million will be targeted at those students most in need of help.”

“Our schools are good, but we must make them great. We’re giving them the support they need, so that every child gets the best chance to fulfil their potential in work and in life.”

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