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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 is led by the Schools Plus Fair Education coaching team. 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.

Fair Ed in 72 schools across NSW

Commencing in 2016 in 29 schools, with the addition of a second cohort in 2017, Fair Ed is now supporting 72 schools across NSW.

The evaluation framework developed by CIRES will progressively test and inform this work, independently gathering insights from the participating schools

‘A consistent overall theme was that schools want to re-shape their image within their communities and enable parents to become engaged, through the projects, to play a more active role in the education of their children.’

(CIRES, March 2017)

 

Latest Grants

  • Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) & Just Reinvest NSW
    $388,263 to explore expansion of justice reinvestment in NSW.
  • Mirabel Foundation
    $300,000 towards the expansion of the Mirabel team to the Hunter region, to support children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to parental ilicit drug use and their kinship carers.
  • Youthworks
    $338,000 towards Youth Ministry expansion in Western Sydney and deployment of the Ministry Survey.
  • Country Universities Centre
    $520,049 towards employment of academic mentors across the network - Cooma, Broken Hill, Goulburn, Narrabri, Moree, Grafton, Griffith and Leeton - to support students in academic success.
  • The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation
    $50,000 towards Malabar Midwives, a culturally appropriate service contributing to maternal health outcomes for Indigenous women in Malabar, Maroubra and La Perouse.
  • Twin Rivers Centre
    $42,718 towards the Hand Up program in Eagleby, supporting a community experiencing intergenerational poverty by creating employment opportunities.
  • Burraga Foundation
    $50,000 towards the Storylines School Based Trainee program, an opportunity for Indigenous students to gain valuable work skills and experience through paid employment.
  • Arts North West
    $25,000 towards the North West Film Festival, engaging young people in rural communities in creative digital and analogue screen media.
  • Chester Hill Anglican Church
    $31,644 towards supporting the Children's Ministry in a rapidly growing community.
  • Sports Chaplaincy Australia
    $49,483 towards the Sports Chaplaincy in junior sport netball pilot.
  • Abbeyfield Australia
    $40,452 towards the successful establishment of new independent housing for young people with disabilities in Wagga Wagga.