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Schools Plus launches inaugural Impact Report

In only two years since the establishment of Schools Plus, we’ve connected with over 13% of schools in disadvantaged communities and impacted more than 40,000 students, thanks to financial and other support.

Through the launch of our inaugural Impact Report we tell how we’ve been working with schools and donors across Australia to change students’ lives. 

The Impact Report – which covers the period from April 2015 to March 2017 – analyses nearly 350 funding submissions to draws insights into the greatest funding needs of disadvantaged schools and reveal which schools have been most likely to seek donor support, the initiatives they have sought support for and how donations are being used.

Among its findings, the report shows:

  • schools are most likely to seek support for projects that boost student engagement – these include initiatives that target issues such as attendance, transition to primary/high school and then into work, or additional support for students in literacy or numeracy
  • donations are frequently used to buy equipment, train staff or 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.

These disadvantaged schools are now looking to philanthropic partnerships in addition to government funding to address some of the needs of their most vulnerable students.

Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said the high level of interest shows that Australia’s disadvantaged schools welcome these partnership as an exciting new way to help deliver the education that will best set up students for futures success.

Before Schools Plus was established, the vast majority of schools in disadvantaged communities did not have the tax status or capacity to attract funding from donors.

“Through the work of Schools Plus, we can already see that philanthropy targeted to the schools that most need it creates incredible opportunities for their students. By connecting schools and supporters, we have been able to bring to life projects which are changing the lives of thousands of young people,” Ms Conn said.

Marsden State High School in Brisbane is one of the many schools who have benefited. With high unemployment numbers in the local area and a dwindling number of girls studying industrial subjects, the school created a trade training program specifically targeted at female students.

Through the support of Schools Plus’ donors, the school purchased industry grade equipment and formed partnerships with local businesses and TAFE to expose its female students to careers in construction, automotive, furnishing and engineering.

Seventeen-year-old Tegan is one of the early beneficiaries, already landing a part-time apprenticeship in carpentry with a local firm.

“My apprenticeship is better than I imagined. I definitely don’t think I would have my apprenticeship now [without the program]. It helped me find out what I wanted to do,” Tegan said.

Read the full report here – Schools Plus Impact Report 2017

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