Paralowie R–12 School
Location: South Australia.
How Paralowie R–12 School has used additional needs-based funding
Paralowie R–12 School has received almost $800,000 in additional funding across 2014–15. The school has focussed initially on lifting literacy, numeracy and academic results, as well as social and emotional well-being for students with disability and learning difficulties, EALD students, Aboriginal Students and at-risk students. These needs have been addressed through extra in-class support from teacher aides, individual learning plans and extra programs focussing on literacy, numeracy and well-being, reduced class sizes where struggling students needed more individual attention, creation of time for teachers to mentor at-risk students and senior students, provision of more quality professional learning opportunities for staff, provision of well-being case management for Aboriginal families, and engagement of an outside provider to deliver a personal leadership program to at-risk students.
How additional needs-based funding has made a difference for students
Principal Peter McKay says that literacy is the basis of everything else students do, and those who have received extra support are now more engaged and successful in other subjects. NAPLAN results for targeted students have seen significant gains, and the school is using a range of methods to track the progress of all students. Year 12 completions rates over recent years have now reached 90 per cent, but the school wants to keep expanding VET options and job programs to ensure every child can leave school with a purpose.
What Paralowie R–12 School could do with additional needs-based funding in the future
Full needs-based funding is essential to spread the benefits across the entire school by bringing in new programs to stretch students academically and broaden their choice. Further investment in professional development can lift the quality of teaching, and embed these skills in daily practice.