Initiate

Fair Education Program

The Fair Education Program was developed as a joint initiative of the VFFF Board and Fairfax family arising from a shared motivation to make a catalytic contribution towards educational equity in NSW.

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Theory of Change

To inform this work, in 2015 VFFF established a Fair Education Working Group that drew on existing knowledge and experts in the area of education and equity. The Group included representatives from the Grattan Institute and the NSW Department of Education & Communities alongside members of the Fairfax Family and VFFF Board. A Theory of Change framework was used to guide a staged process, starting with the desired goal and working backwards to envisage a philanthropic program that would be effective in achieving that goal.

In mid-2015, the Working Group’s Theory of Change was endorsed by the VFFF Board.

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An ambitious partnership with Australian Schools Plus

In September 2015, VFFF Directors approved the Fair Education Program as VFFF’s largest single investment to date – a $5.2 million grant to Australian Schools Plus for a multi-year schools funding and coaching program. The Program aims to build the capacity of school leadership teams in low socio-economic areas in NSW to design and implement activities to engage families and communities in student learning. The Program has two key elements

  • Multi-year project funding for individual schools or school clusters, chosen via a competitive application process, to deliver a project focused on enhancing family and community engagement in student learning. The Program provides up to $70,000 over three years for individual schools or $250,000 over three years for school clusters.
  • The provision of leadership coaching to school leadership teams each term throughout the life of the project by the Schools Plus Fair Education Expert Coach Eric Jamieson, the former NSW Department of Education High Performance Director. This coaching will focus on building strategic leadership capability and providing support to schools to successfully deliver long-term projects that improve family and community engagement.

Cohort One Schools 2016

The inaugural grants round in February 2016 had an outstanding response with 107 NSW schools seeking support for their projects. Of these, 29 schools across government, Catholic and independent school sectors were awarded funding. The Fair Education Program was officially launched on Friday 25 November by NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli at Hilltop Road Public School, Merrylands.

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Latest Grants

  • Desert Pea Media
    $132,000 towards Ngemba Ngurra: Light of the Ngemba people - a series of four music-based workshops over 12 months with Indigenous young people at Bourke High School
  • Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia
    $300,000 over three years towards operational costs to promote the importance of primary industries among students and teachers
  • St Francis Social Services
    $340,000 over three years for The Humanitarian Hub - an Alliance between four agencies to build volunteering capacity to meet the needs of people seeking asylum
  • Weave Youth & Community Services
    $362,965 over three years for Creating Futures Justice Project, a prison release program to reduce recidivism rates of young people in Sydney's inner South East communities
  • Bourke and District Children's Services
    $28,000 to rejuvenate the childcare outdoor play area at Bourke and District Children's Services.
  • Bowen Community Technology and Homework Centre
    $20,000 towards operational costs of the Bowen Community Technology and Homework Centre.
  • The Nawarddeken Academy
    $49,434 towards The Nawarddeken Academy - a school for Kabulwarnamyo in west Arnhem Land.
  • McLean Care
    $50,000 to establish the Northern Inland Aged Care Alliance, an initiative to build sustainable not-for-profit aged care services in regional NSW communities.
  • NewLife Anglican Church Oran Park
    $46,564 towards the employment of a kids, youth and families Pastor at NewLife Anglican Church Oran Park.
  • Philanthropy Australia
    $25,000 towards the Philanthropy Austalia and National Australia Bank matched funding program, to build the capacity of not-for-profits in impact investing.