Sarah Redfern High School
Location: Minto, Western Sydney, New South Wales
Sarah Redfern High School was originally built for students from the Minto public housing estate, but since 2005 a Housing NSW Community Renewal Project has brought about significant changes in Minto. Most of the school’s 600 students are from low –income backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students make up 8 per cent of the school’s population and almost two-thirds of students are from non-English speaking backgrounds. The school has four support classes catering for the needs of students with disabilities.
How Sarah Redfern High School has used Gonski funding
Sarah Redfern High has received approximately $1,378,000 in Gonski funding between 2014 and 2016. Prior to this the school received National Partnership needs-based funding. It has allowed the school to invest in new management structures and new curriculum approaches which better suit the needs of its students. Gonski funding is being used to build a culture of high expectations for staff, students and parents, as well as working closely with the community to support all the school’s disadvantaged students. Funds have been used for professional development to improve teaching quality and for greater use of technology in the classroom for all students from Years 7 to 12, to better prepare them for the 21st century workplace.
How Gonski funding has made a difference for students
Sarah Redfern High principal Karen Endicott says that we need to do schooling differently to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and enable them to succeed. Gonski funding has allowed us to level the playing field so that all our students can have the same aspirations as our more advantaged students,” she says. Tangible benefits include an increase in enrolments and a high level of student motivation and engagement. “Our community now acknowledges the value and importance of education and how it is the one thing that can open doors and change students’ lives,” Ms Endicott says.
What the continuation of Gonski funding means to Sarah Redfern High School
The achievements over four years of needs-based funding through the Low SES National Partnership and then Gonski funding show how important long-term needs-based funding is. Ms Endicott says that the continuation of funding will allow the school to build on its successes, which has already been recognised at state and national level.