Big bucks for school, community partners

THE inaugural School's First community workshop will be held in Coffs Harbour next week.

The workshop, developed by NAB with Australia Cares, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), is designed to encourage and award best practice in school/community partnerships that demonstrate improved outcomes for students.

Schools in Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas are being invited to take part in the workshop at Coffs Harbour Catholic Club from 4pm until 7pm on Thursday, March 5.

Community partnerships can make a significant difference to outcomes for young people. Outcomes include increased skills, greater engagement with learning, and improved transitions into the workforce and further education or training.

The Coffs Harbour workshop is designed for schools and community groups to strengthen existing partnerships and establish new partnerships. The workshop will focus on how schools and community groups can develop or enhance a partnership and also how they can apply for an award.

Schools First is Australia's largest ever corporate backed education initiative with NAB committing $15 million in award funds over three years.

In 2009, there will be up to 60 local awards at $50,000 each. There will also be as many as eight State/territory awards at $100,000 each. The national winner will receive an award valued between $500,000 and $1 million. A series of 20 seed-funding awards worth $25,000 each will also be available for schools that require initial funding to get their community partnership concepts started.

The awards will be open to every primary, secondary, public, private, special needs, religious and independent school across the country.

Places at the workshop are limited, so anyone 8interested in supporting learning opportunities for young people is encouraged to visit to register.

For community members and schools unable to attend the workshop, the website at will act as a centralised “knowledge bank” and online community to provide all the information required to build partnerships and submit an award application.

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