In just three years since Schools Plus began fundraising in April 2015, more than 80,000 students from Australia’s most disadvantaged schools have benefited from philanthropic support being channelled through Schools Plus.
That’s almost $7 million which has been injected into the nation’s school system by Australian donors.
The figures are revealed in Schools Plus’ 2018 Impact Report which draws insights into the greatest funding needs of schools in disadvantaged communities.
The Impact Report – which covers the period from April 2015 to March 2018 – analyses nearly 490 funding submissions from schools. It reveals which schools have been most likely to seek donor support, the initiatives they have sought support for, and how donations are being used.
“This report makes it clear that there’s a pressing need for extra funding to help students overcome disadvantage and close the education gap,” said Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn.
“We’ve had more than 1000 schools engaging with us in some way in the past three years – that’s around 22 per cent of all eligible disadvantaged schools, which is a significant percentage given that we are in our first couple of years of operation.”
Following the delivery earlier this year of both the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education and the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, the Impact Report provides great insights in how to close the education gap, including where the need in schools is greatest and how support can be channelled to create significant impact.
Schools Plus’ 2018 Impact Report shows that more than 330 projects have been funded by Schools Plus donors since April 2015. Amongst its findings, the report shows:
- Schools are most likely to seek support for strategies that focus on: introducing contemporary teaching practices; expose students to STEM opportunities; target wellbeing; increase parent engagement.
- Donations are frequently used to cover the cost of: additional time for teachers and support staff in the classroom; equipment or furniture upgrades to support learning; to bring in external expertise.
- Projects are more likely to be successful if: they have a clear link with the school’s strategy and the support of the school leadership team.
“Six years on from the original Gonski Review being released, our experience has shown us that Australians really do want to support schools in need and create a better future for our most vulnerable students,” Rosemary said.
“In disadvantaged communities, most schools don’t have the time, resources or funding to overcome their challenges alone, and that’s where we can help. Our work stretches right across Australia and is cross-sector, and the impact of donations is considerable, for schools, teachers and most importantly students.”
Across Australia, more than 4,600 schools meet Schools Plus’ criteria for disadvantage, by sitting below 1000 on the national Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA).
Read more in our 2018 Impact Report.