Key
Focus
Areas

First Nations

Giving First Nations children the opportunity to walk confidently in two worlds.

OUR GOAL

To give First Nations children access to culturally inclusive education that help them to walk confidently in two worlds.

By 2027, we aim to impact 150,000 children per year.

First Nations children show strong cultural identity through their behaviour, attitudes and wellbeing.

First Nations children improve in reading, maths and science.

First Nations children improve their school attendance rates.

First Nations children show higher levels of engagement in learning and enthusiasm about their future.

THE NEED

First Nations children and young people are among the most vulnerable in the country, disproportionately affected by the collective trauma of the Stolen Generations, disempowerment, and cycles of disadvantage.

First Nations children and young people are:

  • more than twice as likely to be behind non-Indigenous students in reading, maths and science.
  • attending school 79% of the timne versus 92% for non-indigenous students.
  • reported to have a lower sense of belonging, growth mindset and self-efficacy than their peers.

Our work to support First Nations children

4,999

children

624

teachers

40

school communities


Our unique
model drives
our impact

Schools Plus’ model combines three interdependent components that work together to drive change.

Place-based approach

We take a place-based and community led approach to target the unique needs of children within a specific community. We engage a broad range of stakeholders including teachers, health practitioners and families to be active participants in the development and implementation of interventions, because we know it is the community that knows its children best.

Investment to effect change

We support school communities with critical resources that help them to effect change. This includes funding to help access physical and professional resources as well as coaching to enable the project’s successful implementation and evaluation.

Influencing systems change

Some of our larger-scale projects are now playing a key role in influencing systems change at a sector level with some projects incubated by Schools Plus expanding and scaling into mainstream educational programs.

How we give children more opportunities

We partner with schools to give First Nations Australian children access to culturally inclusive education programs and support so they are healthy, resilient and experience positive wellbeing and cultural identity.

Some examples of our work include:

  • Teaching core learning subjects through a First Nations lens with on-Country learning
  • Cultural preservation programs that build self-worth, identity, and pride
  • Building relationships with First Nations families and community members to encourage school attendance

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Where we work

Schools Plus works with school communities across all states and territories in Australia. Our work supports children from schools with an ICSEA score (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage) of less than 1000. We also partner with special needs schools.

STORIES OF IMPACT

Restimulating the learning journey

Ava, a Year 4 student at Bruthen Primary School (VIC), responded honestly when teachers asked her and her classmates what they thought about maths; Ava said: “we told them we hated maths.”

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Shining a light on a different future

Roxy, Year 10 student at Wynyard High School (TAS), never felt she had a role model. Her mum and older sister never had a job and much like other children in the area, the household she grew up in caused a bit of trauma. Feeling like her prospects were bleak, Roxy did not regularly attend school.

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Lighting the spark

As a school already providing opportunities for students to develop entrepreneurial skills, Kepnock State High School (QLD) sought to do more and with a focus on First Nations students.

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