ACCELERATED LEARNING: South Grafton Public School students Aila Giggins and Toby Tibbett and teacher Brendan Taylor learning with their iPads.
ACCELERATED LEARNING: South Grafton Public School students Aila Giggins and Toby Tibbett and teacher Brendan Taylor learning with their iPads. Adam Hourigan

Gonski funding boosts school

MORE than $400,000 in funding for South Grafton Public School has lifted education standards into the 21st Century, says school principal Peter Hickey.

Mr Hickey said the money, which came after the school met conditions described in the Gonski Review in 2013, had enabled the school to kit out every classroom with 10 computers and 10 iPad tablet computers.

“We’ve got 450 iPads at the school now,” Mr Hickey said.

He said the Gonski report found there was entrenched disadvantage in schools, which could be remedied by allocating more money to those schools.

“Under the guidelines of the Gonski review our school was found to be a complex school because of the make-up of the school population,” Mr Hickey said.

In addition to the computers, the Gonski funding has allowed the school to buy equipment and fund a range of services.

“We’ve been able to set up a school band scholarship and fund a breakfast program,”he said.

“We have been able to employ a creative arts teacher, purchase dance costumes, establish a student leadership program, fund extra teachers to ensure we reduce class sizes, help students with school uniform requirements, buy art supplies and library books, and develop a computerised administration system.”

Mr Hickey said the funding made sure the school could fulfil its goals.

“Our goal at South Grafton Public School is to promote and maintain a learning environment that is based on high expectations and the belief that all students will learn successfully,”he said.

“Gonski funding has allowed our school to focus on providing more opportunities for students and improving their literacy and numeracy.”

He said the school had been able to measure the results from the funding.

“Our NAPLAN results have improved with a high percentage of our students now achieving at or above NSW targets for literacy and numeracy,” he said.

“We also employ School Learning Support Officers to provide follow-up support in specific classes.”

Mr Hickey said it was important governments continue Gonski funding into the fifth and sixth years as the original review recommended.



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