The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, announced that an additional 110 struggling schools will share in $11 million in extra funding designed to ensure students improve their literacy and numeracy.
The Government has identified the schools that would have missed out on a share of the $2.5 billion Smarter Schools National Partnerships were it not for the additional information on the My Schools website.
The 110 schools include those that have results that are below or substantially below (light and dark red on the My School website) both the national average and those for statistically similar schools in all areas on the NAPLAN national tests.
The schools are from a variety of areas including county and inner city and a variety of socio-economic areas. They include schools from the Government, Catholic and independent sectors.
Ms Gillard said that this is an example of the Government using the information now available to every parent on My School to direct funding so that those schools who are struggling can be given a helping hand and so students aren’t left behind.
Since 2008 the Australian Government has been supporting pilot projects across all school systems using established best practice to improve literacy and numeracy. Lessons from these pilots can now be used to raise achievement in more schools.
Through the $540m National Partnership on literacy and numeracy education systems will be rewarded for lifting results so that more students achieve above minimum benchmarks.
The partnerships will deliver practical help including literacy and numeracy specialist teachers in the classroom, literacy and numeracy coaches helping to help teachers to improve their teaching skills and additional teacher’s aides to provide support for teachers.
Schools will also be able to take advantage of whole school improvement plans using expert coaches and proven methods for teaching and assessing literacy and numeracy.
A number of states including Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania have already published the lists of schools that will benefit from the Australian Government’s Smarter Schools National Partnerships. Full details of the National Partnerships schools and those identified as additional will be released as soon as negotiations with the States and Territories have finished.
The partnerships include $540 million for foundation skills in literacy and numeracy, $550 million for improving teacher quality and $1.5 billion over seven years to support up to 1500 low socio-economic status schools across the country. This funding will be matched by state and territory co-investment over the life of the partnership.