Le Fevre High School
Location: Western Suburbs, Adelaide, South Australia
Le Fevre High has a student population of around 550, half of whom are from low income backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students make up about 15 per cent of Le Fevre’s enrolment and around 20 per cent of students are from non-English speaking backgrounds
How Le Fevre High School has used Gonski funding
Le Fevre High has received approximately $330,000 in Gonski funding from 2014 to 2016. Prior to this Le Fevre received needs-based funding through the National Partnerships Program. Gonski funding has been used to keep the existing programs established with National Partnerships funding going, and to provide a kick-start for new initiatives. One of its key goals is improving education outcomes for the school’s Aboriginal students.
Le Fevre has been able to invest in pastoral care, more staff with specialist skills to provide one-on-one support for students and more resources for Aboriginal students. A literacy intervention program for Year 8 students has benefited all students at risk of lower achievement than their peers and becoming disengaged from schooling but has been particularly important for Aboriginal students.
Additional programs supported by Gonski funding include the teaching of the local Kaurna language and participation in the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience program run with the University of South Australia, where students are exposed to various university courses in an intensive year-long program.
How Gonski funding has made a difference for students
Principal Rob Shepherd says all students have benefitted from Gonski funding but it has been particularly significant for Aboriginal students. Le Fevre has gone from being a school where very few Aboriginal students have successfully completed Year 12 to one where the majority not only attempt it, but most pass successfully, then go on to TAFE, traineeships or university courses.
He says that improving the learning opportunities and post-school options for all Le Fevre’s students requires an investment in resources that recognises the learning barriers many of them face and offering the individual support they need. Aboriginal students, in particular, often face barriers not experienced by others, and it’s important to have an environment where Aboriginal students can be really proud of who and what they are, and their cultural links, including access to Indigenous language.
What the continuation of Gonski funding means to Le Fevre High School
Academic success for Aboriginal students is strongly linked to their wellbeing and their feeling of being valued at school, which is a time and resource-intensive process. Without a continuation of ongoing, needs-based Gonski funding the significant improvements achieved by Le Fevre High School are at risk.