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Allan Government invests $26.5 Million in strengthening school engagement grants

Joseph Guenzler -

The Allan Government has granted funds to 23 schools with significant African and Pasifika student populations aiming to enhance their educational engagement and realise their full potential.

On Thursday, Victorian Minister for Education Ben Carroll revealed the beneficiaries of Round 5 of the Strengthening School Engagement grants under the Place-Based Partnerships to Support School Engagement and Completion Initiative.

The recipients are set to collectively receive $2.65 million in annual funding.

Currently, more than 34 government schools have been allocated 51 grants, amounting to a total investment of $4.06 million since the grants began in 2018.

"Partnerships like these are the key to unlocking innovative approaches to tackle the challenges faced by students of African or Pasifika backgrounds and providing them with better opportunities to get ahead in life," Mr Carroll said.

"Supporting students to engage and stay connected with their school helps build their confidence and enhances their opportunities to thrive."

Despite active community involvement among African and Pasifika youths, the initiative permits schools with significant populations from these backgrounds to formulate and implement place-based strategies.

The goal is to boost students' participation and completion rates in education.

Through expressions of interest, the Victorian Government allocates funding to schools, enabling them to implement focused interventions and support.

Additionally, Community Liaison Officers are employed to reinforce family-school connections, ensuring the continuity of young people's engagement with their education.

Grant recipients are set to receive annual support in 2024, 2025, and 2026 to appoint a full-time Community Liaison Officer.

This key contact will play a pivotal role in supporting young people to actively participate in their education, delivering targeted intervention programs.

Five of the schools will receive between $130,000 and $150,000 in funding annually through to 2026 to deliver the place-based initiative in partnership with other schools.

Programs funded for 2024 include:

1. The Student and Family Engagement (SaFE) Program at St Albans Secondary College, with funding provided to employ a Student and Family Engagement Officer who will implement supports and programs to engage students and parents.

2. The Flemington Partnership that will support African-Australian students' transition into and out of primary school, provide in-school and after-school programs to strengthen student engagement and leadership, and engage families to support their children's education while building stronger connections with schools.

3. Greater Shepparton Secondary College's Building Tomorrow's Leaders program which will help African and Pasifika students become strong leaders who understand their culture by addressing the specific challenges and opportunities within these communities.

Round 5 of the Strengthening School Engagement grants are as follows.

Catholic Regional College St Albans

Catholic Regional College Sydenham

Charles La Trobe P-12 College (Macleod)

Collingwood College P-12, in partnership with Fitzory High School's Wurun Senior Campus (Fitzroy North)

Copperfield College (Kings Park, Sydenham and Delahey campuses)

Craigieburn Secondary College, in partnership with Roxburgh College

Flemington Primary School, in partnership with Debney Meadows Primary School and Ascot Vale West Primary School

Gladstone Park Secondary College

Greater Shepparton Secondary College

Hume Central Secondary College (Broadmeadows)

Melton Secondary College (Melton West)

Mount Alexander College (Flemington)

Richmond High School, in partnership with Richmond West Primary School

Robinvale College P-12

Springside West Secondary College (Fraser Rise), in partnership with Lakeview Senior College (Caroline Springs)

St Albans Secondary College

St Francis Catholic College (Melton West)

St John's Regional College (Dandenong)

Staughton College (Melton South)

Sunshine College (North, West and Harvester Technical College campuses – North Sunshine and West Sunshine)

Tarneit Senior College

The Grange P-12 (Hoppers Crossing)

Victoria University Secondary College (Junior, Deer Park, and Senior campuses, St Albans)

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