Barrack Heights Public School

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Location: Shellharbour, south coast of NSW

Barrack Heights PS is located in Shelharbour, 16km south of Wollongong.

It has an enrolment of 250 students, most of them from low-income backgrounds. Since 2012, 4 satellite classes from Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) are included as part of the school, as well as a class for students with multiple disabilities and moderate/high support needs.

How Barrack Heights Public School has used Gonski funding

Barrack Heights PS received approximately $200,000 in Gonski funding in 2014-2016, which has given the school the flexibility to pay for additional professional support including speech therapy, occupational therapy, mentors and specialist teachers, and provide high-quality professional learning and coaching for teachers and support staff.

A new team has been created to support student and parent welfare and engagement needs within the school. This includes developing new programs tailored to specific needs of disadvantaged students and the creation of 2 new ‘Alternate Learning Classes’ have been established for students in years 2-6 who have behavioural or learning difficulties or confirmed disabilities.

How Gonski funding has made a difference for students

Attendance data has improved, teachers are confident in their ability to meet the individual learning needs of each of their students, kids are engaged, and the community is proud to share in the school’s success. Gonski funding means happy kids, happy teachers, happy community.

What Barrack Heights Public School could do with Gonski funding in the future

Principal Sarah Rudling says that Gonski funding must continue for the full six years so that all children at the school can get the support they need through high-quality, innovative, locally-significant and culturally-appropriate programs. This will equip students with the knowledge, skills, understanding and passion to grow into the strong and confident citizens they need to be.

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