Postcode pointer to school success

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NEW research shows the postcode you’re born in can radically impact your whole future.

That’s the finding of research conducted by Teach For Australia which shows that, even before starting school, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds are much more likely to be developmentally unready compared to their higher socioeconomic peers.

The not-for-profit organisation says it seeks to improve the educational outcomes for all children by “rigorously recruiting Australia’s top talent and training them to be exceptional teachers and leaders in schools and communities with the highest need”.

The results of the research show a mix of good and bad outcomes for schools on the Mornington Peninsula.

Mornington rates as disadvantaged when it comes to educational opportunities, coming in a 386th out of 667 areas, while Mt Eliza rates among the most advantaged at 151st.

Dromana and Rosebud rate as disadvantaged (369th and 467th) while Sorrento rates as most advantaged at 86th.

Red Hill South and Balnarring rate most advantaged at 25th and 39th while Hastings at 597th and Somerville at 416th rate most disadvantaged.

Teach For Australia last week launched an interactive postcode search tool that delves into the levels of educational possibilities in postcodes Australia-wide.

“The tool showed clearly that many experience strong educational outcomes. However, complex educational disadvantage is experienced by a small but persistent number of locations,” CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear said.

“We know that by age 15 children from the lowest socioeconomic households are, on average, almost three years behind in school than children from the highest socioeconomic households.

“There’s no excuse for an unequal education system. Research shows a school in a rural community offers half as many academic subjects as schools in metropolitan areas.

“The postcode study was compiled using a number of indicators of educational disadvantage, including readiness for schooling, qualifications post-schooling, NAPLAN performance and school leavers before the age of 15.

“Together with Jesuit Social Services and with the help of data from the Dropping off the Edge (DOTE) report, we have mapped out the levels of educational outcomes throughout Australia to give a greater perspective on the need to ensure that all children achieve their potential.”

Ms Potts Rosevear said the 10-year-old organisation had placed about 830 teachers in schools across Australia, impacting on the performance of more than 230,000 students.

“We believe in an Australia where all children, regardless of background, attain an excellent education,” she said.

“A postcode shouldn’t define a child’s future, but a great teacher can.”

Details: teachforaustralia.org.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 2 July 2019

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