Disadvantaged Young People Need Better Education Support - Report
8 September 2015 at 11:32 am
Welfare peak body, the Victorian Council of Social Service has welcomed a State Government report that found that too many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are missing out on the opportunities of education.
“VCOSS welcomes the Emerging issues and ideas paper from the State Government Schools Funding Review, Chaired by former Premier Steve Bracks, which details the issues presented by stakeholders from across the education and community sectors,” CEO of VCOSS, Emma King said.
“It is clear that we can do more for young people, to keep them engaged at school and better placed to do well later in life.
“The issues paper reveals a broad consensus from stakeholders that the funding model for Victorian schools should be better designed to ensure universal access to high quality education along with more targeted funding to close the gap for disadvantaged students.
“The current school funding system does not do enough to support the 10,000 young people who disengage from school every year, and there is a lack of sufficient accountability around these young people.
“The current narrow accountability focus on how schools perform on measures such as numeracy and literacy means the needs and interests of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and children with complex and specific needs are not adequately addressed.”
The Interim report found that Victorians want to have trust and confidence in education funding system, families expect greater transparency from governments about funding decisions and school budget allocations and more must be done to better meet the needs of students, particularly the most disadvantaged.
VCOSS said stakeholders have put forward a number of ideas for education funding reform that should be given consideration.
“Improving young people’s experience of education should be a priority for any revamped school funding model that emerges from this review process. It is particularly important that Victoria better supports students from more disadvantaged backgrounds to remain engaged at school,” King said.
One of the suggestions was the use of grants, funding incentives or guidance to increase partnerships with local government, education and other community service providers to make the school a hub for the community.
The Government said the interim report completes the initial phase of the review. Steve Bracks will deliver the final report to the Government in late 2015. The interim report can be viewed HERE.