We did it!
Thanks to your support, the Victorian State Government has reinstated $1million towards ResourceSmart Schools, to encourage schools to continue being leaders in climate change. With the lack of funding allocated in the initial State budget for 2015-2016, most schools expressed that they would find it difficult to continue without the support of an external ResourceSmart Schools facilitator.
What does this new funding mean?
The 800+ schools currently engaged in the program will receive a further 12 months of funded support from their ResourceSmart Schools facilitator, to continue on with their current module and work towards certification!
Click here to read the Premier’s media release – ‘Victorian schools to lead the way on climate action’.
We look forward to continuing our work with schools, and spending time to strengthen the program so we are not faced with the same situation in 12 months time.
Again, thank you for getting behind the ‘I love my facilitator’ campaign. We received powerful statements from teachers, our Partners, and supporters of education for sustainability, about the value ResourceSmart Schools facilitators adds to the success of the program.
Why this result is important
The threat to the program and the lack of funding assigned in the State Budget 2015-2016 would have resulted in loss of support to schools to achieve learning outcomes, and resource efficiencies, which benefit schools, the wider community and the environment.
ResourceSmart Schools as one of the longest running environmental education programs in Australia and can boast longstanding impacts and achievements over 15 years. Through this time there has been independent evaluation of funded government pilots and delivery models that demonstrate the effectiveness of the program to deliver educational objectives and substantive contribution to addressing climate change.
Since its inception in 1999, the program has received funding to support school sustainability activities from a range of local, state, and federal government agencies, and the Catholic education sector. With this support, a committed network of environmental education organisations and an integrated approach with regional bodies, the program has withstood the test of time and led the way in environmental education programs to schools.
Investment into ResourceSmart Schools in Victoria has enabled a unique statewide network of partners to provide an enhanced model for delivery in schools. Importantly the cohesion between the partner organisations creates a space for environmental education providers to work towards the same goal, sustainability, in a framework that does not compete but promotes involvement in all programs.
Victoria is seen to be leading the way in delivering education for sustainability in schools and ResourceSmart Schools has been central in this contribution to schools as well as for wider sustainability outcomes to the community.
The positive setting for education for sustainability in Victoria has resulted in a delivery model for ResourceSmart Schools where schools are supported by expert, external facilitators. This enables a school to achieve sustainability outcomes and bring its programs together into a whole of school approach to Education for Sustainability.
Independent evaluation and research of the program along with quantitative feedback from schools and early learning centres, has proven the facilitator-driven delivery model is integral to success of the ResourceSmart Schools program. These impacts, delivery model, achievements, including net gain against investment, are well documented in the independent economic evaluation and research reports.
At the time, with a risk that the program would be stymied or ceased, the impact on statewide networks, specialised jobs, and schools was very immediate. The impact for the 846 schools and early learning centres actively engaged in ResourceSmart Schools can be understood in statements collected from educators currently involved in the program.
“The requirements to become a ResourceSmart School can seem onerous. I have called on our facilitator numerous times to clarify school actions. Some of my requests have been very specific to our school and our school community. Our facilitator has been to our school and knows our principal and some of the staff. This makes an enormous difference! I really don’t think I would have been able to get the Core Module up and running at our school without this support.” Brunswick South Primary School
“We love the support and encouragement in our sustainability journey. It gives us hope that we can change behaviour and opinions in our school, as such we are shifting the momentum of change for better policies and practices in our school that are contributing to a better environment and a more cost effective, sustainably managed school. Without ResourceSmart we would not have been able to achieve this!” St. Jude’s Parish Primary School