We’re proud to support State Schools’ Relief (SSR) – a not-for-profit organisation that works with state schools across Victoria to help minimise the barriers to education faced by students experiencing financial disadvantage.
Bank Australia’s support has enabled SSR to run a new initiative – providing students’ access to scientific calculators, having identified that these items can be cost prohibitive for lower income families.
According to Stephen Iles, Chief Executive of State Schools Relief, students who have the interest and aptitude for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects have been unable to select these courses without the funds to buy a scientific calculator.
“At a price point of $200+ per student, the purchase of a scientific or graphing calculator created a real barrier for many parents and students, which unfortunately saw talented students missing out on participation in STEM subjects,” he said.
Bank Australia’s contribution has helped to provide 200 calculators to eligible students across Victoria, enabling them to participate in the subjects of their choice. Beyond being able to fully participate in their education, providing disadvantaged students with a method to be seen as a member of their academic community gives them confidence and a sense of belonging in the education system which is crucial to help overcome disadvantage.
In the 2015/16 financial year around half of Victorian State Schools have utilised the State Schools Relief service and they received a record number of applications – a 212% increase.
Our partnership with State Schools Relief is one way we’re supporting the education sector and addressing educational disadvantage. We also have partnerships with with the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP) and the Association of Business Managers in Victorian State Schools (ABMVSS). We also recently funded initiatives with QUT, Lara Secondary College and Carrum Downs Secondary College.
For more information on our support for the community, please learn more about the Bank Australia Impact Fund.