Heyfield 'disadvantaged' in education outcomes

Education outcomes are lagging in the Heyfield postcode area.
Education outcomes are lagging in the Heyfield postcode area.

THE Heyfield postcode area has been rated as one of the "most disadvantaged" areas in the state in relation to educational outcomes.

The postcode, which also covers areas including Winnindoo, Glenmaggie, Licola, Seaton and Denison and Dawson, ranks 515th out of 667 areas for education outcomes in Victoria.

Sale also ranks as "disadvantaged", but curiously, much of the Wellington Shire area surrounding Sale is identified as "advantaged" while East Sale ranks as "most advantaged".

Teach For Australia has launched a new interactive tool that delves into the levels of educational possibilities in postcodes around Australia.

The postcode search tool shows clearly that many experience strong educational outcomes, however complex educational disadvantage is experienced by a small but persistent number of locations.

This is particularly prevalent in regional and remote areas across Australia.

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, Teach For Australia has 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.

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.

Teach For Australia founder and chief executive Melodie Potts Rosevear said children from both metropolitan and rural areas deserved to be able to achieve their potential.

"A postcode shouldn't define a child's future," she said.

"At Teach For Australia, we are working hard with a number of different stakeholders to ensure that all children achieve their potential, regardless of their postcode.

"For decades, student outcomes on average have not improved.

"As a result, Australian kids are being left behind and disadvantaged in a rapidly changing world.

"This is a systemic problem, with no one group responsible, but the consequences are dire for our children and our country's future.

"Over the past 10 years, I've seen Teach For Australia Associates bring worldly experience and fresh perspectives into rural schools that are able to widen the horizons of what children think about being and doing in a way only a great teacher can."

Teach For Australia works with secondary schools and communities, and seeks to improve the educational outcomes for all children through rigorously recruiting Australia's top talent and training them to be exceptional teachers and leaders in schools and communities with the highest need.

Now in its tenth year, it has placed more than 830 teachers into schools across Australia, having an influence on 230,000 students in that time.

To learn more about how local postcodes stack up, visit www.teachforaustralia.org.