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Are we failing our kids?

LOCAL students have been identified as among the most educationally disadvantaged in the state, highlighting a broadening gap between the city and bush.

Victorians postcodes are ranked by the Teachers for Australia website, using data from the Dropping off the Edge report from Jesuit Social Services and Catholic Social Services Australia.

Seven education measures have been used in the findings.

Of the 666 recorded postcodes, Wonthaggi and Korumburra are among the worst places for educational disadvantage, ranking at 542nd and 554th respectively. 

Wonthaggi’s dismal results showed that kids in the 3995 post code ranked 624th in readiness for schooling, 555th in reading in Grade 3 and 554th in numeracy at Grade 3.

Meanwhile Korumburra’s alarming low ranking included its 628th for reading at Grade 3 and 613th in numeracy at Grade 3.

Leongatha (postcode 3953) was rated at 339th overall. Brighter readings presented in Inverloch, which achieved a ranking of 138th in the state.  

According to Teachers for Schools, remote schools are, on average, 1.5 years behind in their studies compared to their peers in metropolitan areas.

“Educational disadvantage is far reaching. There are corrosive social justice issues that particularly manifest in regional areas,” TFA’s Emily Pearson said.

“We also see it in metropolitan areas as well. To distil it down to being caused by one particular thing doesn’t represent the wickedness of the problem.”

Australian Education Union vice president for Victoria Briley Duncan believes both levels of government are responsible for leaving country kids behind.

“We have long known regional and rural students require additional support and this was confirmed in the original 2011 Gonski review into school funding,” she said.

“Both the Commonwealth and the Victorian governments are not providing the funding required to address the specific needs of those students.

 “The Coalition Government cut $14 billion from public schools in 2017 when they changed the legislation and rural MPs let their local schools down when they voted for the legislation change.

“As a result of this decision by the Commonwealth Government and MPs like Russell Broadbent, schools in the electorate of Monash will now receive $25.5 million less than expected.

“The Victorian State Government is currently undertaking a review into rural and regional education. We expect prompt action from them once the review has made their recommendations.”  

Minister for Education James Merlino told The Star that the State Government had a priority to make sure “all Victorians – no matter where they live – are able to attend a great local school and get a great education”.

The government’s Expert Advisory Panel for Rural and Regional Students “will examine why regional students are falling behind their metropolitan counterparts and make recommendations on how to address this critical issue”.

“We have already invested $22.6 million to implement initiatives to give students in rural and remote areas access to a greater choice of subjects through new online and face-to-face learning options,” Mr Merlino said.

“Schools in regional and rural Victoria also received almost double the increase in the equity funding for things like numeracy and literacy support than their metropolitan counterparts.”

 

 

 

 

 

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=29588

Posted by on Jul 23 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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