Our aim: to eliminate disadvantage as a factor in student performance
All Australian children deserve a great education – one that provides the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential.
But too often, a student’s future is determined by their postcode or their family background.
Students facing disadvantage consistently achieve poorer results than their peers. In Australia, that performance gap is disturbingly wide – the equivalent of two and a half years of schooling between the most socioeconomically advantaged and disadvantaged schools.*
This alarming statistic comes from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, which tests the knowledge of 15-year-olds every three years. The latest survey, in 2012, showed Australian students’ performance in maths and reading has also declined significantly over the past decade, with an increasing number of students failing to meet minimum standards.*
How philanthropy can help
Many reports have suggested that philanthropy can help schools provide extra support for students in need.
For instance, the Leading Learning in Education and Philanthropy (LLEAP) research found many schools are not well-equipped to seek philanthropic funding, because they do not have connections or a culture of seeking support, and often don’t have the right tax status to receive donations.
Donors also face challenges in giving to schools – they aren’t sure what schools want, find it hard to build relationships with schools and donations are generally not tax-deductible.
Schools Plus has been formed to help bridge the gap between schools and donors. We match donors with a passion for education with the schools and students who will benefit the most from their philanthropy. Carefully targeted donations allow schools to give students in need extra support, or to trial new ways to close the achievement gap.
*PISA 2012: How Australia measures up (2013) Sue Thomson et al, ACER
** Article on The Conversation, December 3, 2013