Equity Funding for Social Disadvantage

Every child deserves the best start to life. But some children start from a position of disadvantage. Equity funding provides extra money to schools to help the students who need it most reach their full potential.

Ensuring a quality education for everyone — no matter their background or circumstances — is the key to breaking the cycle of disadvantage.  

Record funding

The Victorian Government will provide extra funding of $493.3 million over four years (and $148.8 million a year ongoing) to provide targeted school funding to support schools with students who face more barriers to success than their peers.

This is the largest ever boost in equity funding to our schools — so schools can invest in additional resources and expertise to support their most disadvantaged students.

There is an unacceptable link between low achievement and students who are disadvantaged. International evidence has shown that increased funding targeted towards disadvantaged students improves educational outcomes.

Transforming lives

Since the boost to equity funding — $566 million over four years — thousands of young people and students’ lives are being transformed. It is enabling Victorian government schools, across the state, to introduce initiatives that are already making a difference. 

Schools have used equity funding to

  • employ Koorie engagement officers to help indigenous students
  • extra literacy teachers to help students at risk of falling behind in reading
  • Transformative music, hands-on learning and after school programs have been introduced to excite and engage kids at risk of dropping out of school
  • Community hubs have been supported so the whole family can benefit from education and learning, while primary school children, who have never seen a parent with a job, have experienced the world of work. 

See: Breaking the link of disadvantage 

What does this mean for my child/school?

Schools will receive more targeted funding for disadvantaged students to enable them to invest in additional resources and expertise for the students who need them most.
Improved learning environments will encourage and enable more active participation and ensure students have the literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills they need for school and beyond.

For extra support for new secondary school students who have fallen behind at primary school, see: Catch up funding

Schools will be given guidance and support to respond to the specific challenges facing their students including:

  • preparing evidence-based classroom learning strategies
  • attracting, supporting and retaining experienced specialist teachers
  • improving the quality of school leadership
  • creating safe and supportive school environments
  • engaging parents and communities in students’ schooling.


New allocation criteria for equity funding will more effectively target social disadvantage. The new approach incorporates both individual factors of disadvantage and the concentration of disadvantage in the school. This will be measured by parental education in addition to parental occupation, as this combination is a more accurate predictor of social disadvantage.

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