The Albanese Government is investing $203.7 million this year to help school children across the country as part of the Student Wellbeing Boost.
Every school in Australia will benefit, getting on average $20,000 depending on its need and size.
The Boost will provide:
- $192 million in additional one-off funding to every school to support their students’ mental health and wellbeing, with schools receiving on average $20,000 for use in the 2023 school year.
- $10.8 million for a new voluntary mental health check tool to enable schools to ensure students get the support they need.
“Good mental health and wellbeing have a significant impact on young people’s engagement with education and their learning outcomes,” Minister for Education, Jason Clare said.
“This is particularly important as students return to regular face-to-face classroom learning after two years of disruption due to COVID-19.”
In addition to the Boost, all Australian Education Ministers have signed a new five-year $307.18 million Federation Funding Agreement to deliver the National Student Wellbeing Program.
Federal Member for Macarthur Dr Mike Freelander welcomed the initiative as something that would ensure local children get the best chance to succeed in both their personal and educational development.
“I know that a lot of our children in the area are struggling to access support particularly at the primary school level,” he said.
“This will much such a huge difference, for instance to schools in the Rosemeadow, Ambarvale and Claymore areas.”
Dr Freelander pointed out that the Agreement gives schools greater flexibility to decide what’s best to support the wellbeing of their students and communities.
“Some may decide to have a Chaplain in for a bit longer, others could have a qualified psychologist, a qualified Student Wellbeing Officer to look after student wellbeing,” he said.
The Boost and National Student Wellbeing Program Agreement represent a half a billion-dollar investment into improving the wellbeing of Australia’s students.
States and Territories will continue to manage the National Student Wellbeing Program, which includes approving applications to engage Student Wellbeing Officers or Chaplains.
Student Wellbeing Officers and Chaplains will focus on supporting students and the broader school community through delivering pastoral care services and other support services such as breakfast clubs, excursions, volunteering activities and parent/carer workshops.
In consultation with the school community and educators, they will help promote safe and inclusive school communities, where all people are respected. They must respect and accept a student’s views, values and beliefs.
“We know that early intervention and support is key to promoting positive mental health and that young people face their own unique challenges,” Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Emma McBride said.
“It’s been a tough two years for students and the Albanese Government has a plan to help them bounce back from the pandemic.”
Participation in the program remains voluntary for schools and students.