Forest Lake State High School

Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Forest Lake State High School in outer suburban Brisbane has an enrolment of around 1450 students from diverse backgrounds. Over half are from low-income backgrounds, and around 40 different language groups are represented in the school. These include students from the Pacific Islands and New Zealand (about 20 per cent) and students from Vietnam (1.3 per cent), with 5 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. Forest Lake also educates a number of students with various disabilities in an inclusive manner across the school.

How Forest Lake has used its Gonski funding

Forest Lake received approximately $220,000 Gonski funding in 2014 and $488,000 in 2015.

The additional funding has been invested in a whole-school approach to lifting the performance of all students in literacy and numeracy and raising achievement in the senior years to improve students’ post-school options.

New specialist reading and numeracy programs have been bought in, staff have benefited from greater levels of professional learning and development, and quality new resources to support new programs have been purchased. Additional teacher hours have also been allocated to give additional support to students where it is most needed across Years 7 to 12.

How Gonski funding has made a difference for students

Tom Beck (then acting principal) says that the additional funding has paid huge dividends. These include major gains in reading scores for students in Years 7 to 9, with double the expected gains in achievement scores on reading tests.

There have also been major improvements in Year 12 achievement. In 2015, 100 per cent of Forest Lake’s 218 Year 12 students passed the equivalent of 5 out of 6 subjects and all graduated with a QCE. In the Queensland Core Skills Test for Year 12 students, Forest Lake’s results were above the state average for the first time ever in 2015.

What Forest Lake could do with Gonski in the future

With the full six years of Gonski funding Forest Lake would continue and extend the highly successful strategies it has put in place to date. Mr Beck says that what has been achieved with Gonski funding sums up what public education is about. Continuing it would ensure that Forest Lake could continue to achieve such impressive outcomes for its predominantly working class student population.a

<<< BACK

More Gonski Success Stories

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.
Forest Lake State High School in outer suburban Brisbane has an enrolment of around 1450 students from diverse backgrounds.
Ulladulla High School, located on the NSW south coast, has an enrolment of about 1200 students, 70% of whom are from low-income backgrounds.
Yarrabah State School is a three campus Pre-Prep to Year 10 school in the Far North Queensland community of Yarrabah. The community faces complex inter-generational challenges including high unemployment and families living in poverty.
Morayfield State High School has a current enrolment of approximately 1500 students. The majority of students are from low-income backgrounds
Mansfield State High School is a large high school of about 2,200 students from diverse income and ethnic background in southern Brisbane.
Darlington Primary School, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, has an enrolment of about 300 students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
The school opened in 2011 and has three campuses co-located on one site: Girls’ Education, Co-Education and Special Education.
Milton Public School, a K-6 school on the south coast of NSW, has an enrolment of 650 students about half of whom are from low-income backgrounds. Around 40 students are from non-English-speaking backgrounds, and about 5% of the students are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
Minimbah State School has a stable enrolment of around 800 students. A high number of students are from low-income backgrounds.
Casino Public school is a P-6 school of 700 students, located in rural north coast NSW.
Windaroo State School in the Mount Warren Park area of Logan City has an enrolment of around 930 students. A significant number of students are from low-income backgrounds. Approximately 50 students are Indigenous and 80 students are from non-English-speaking language backgrounds.