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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

  • The Australian Centre for Social Innovation
    $375,950 for the final delivery phase of developing a regional capability building model with the key people and initiatives VFFF works with in Lachlan Shire and Dubbo.
  • Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal
    $708,925 for phase one of the Rural Community Futures Program, to strengthen grassroots non-profit organisations in rural, regional and remote NSW.
  • Indigenous Marathon Foundation
    $50,000 to establish the IMF Deadly Running Footprints, a series of running events to create positive local role models and facilitate community engagement in the Northern Rivers, NSW.
  • Musicians Making a Difference
    To pilot the Breakfree Street Support and Internship Program, a pre-employment training program for 18-25 year olds in the NSW Central Coast area.
  • Paint the Town REaD
    $48,000 to provide ongoing support and training for communities in rural and regional NSW to effectively implement the Paint the Town REaD program.
  • Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Advancement Group
    $23,650 to continue the employment of a Grant Writer for an additional 12 months.