Financial support is now available for school communities impacted by the major flooding events in the Northern Rivers with access to up to $1000 for teachers and $500 for students to replace education materials.
The funding is part of the $67 million Education Flood Recovery Package with targeted support for public school teachers and students in the Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley and Tweed local government areas.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the recovery grants will help to reduce the financial burden on students and teachers as people continue to rebuild.
“Families can use the student support for school- related expenses such as uniforms, books, pencils, lunch boxes or excursions, recognising that many students in these communities have experienced severe disruption,” Ms Mitchell said.
“For teachers, these funds can be used to continue replacing learning resources, supplies and educational materials,” Ms Mitchell said.
Non-teaching school staff are also eligible for grants of up to $500.
“We know the community is continuing to deal with the trauma from these devastating floods and I also want to provide assurance to students that they will be supported to continue working towards reaching their goals,” Ms Mitchell said.
NESA is working in direct consultation with principals and executives to document the challenges being faced by students, particularly HSC students. This will include specific information about each student, the progress they had made on their project, performance or body of work, and the impact on the work itself.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the NSW Government has committed $1.6 billion to the flood clean-up and recovery effort.
“The NSW Government has previously allocated $9.5 million for counselling and trauma training in schools, $9 million to rebuild early childhood education centres and $29.7 million to support the skills and higher education sector,” Ms Cooke said.
“Our educators need all the help they can to return to normal operations and provide the best learning environment for their students following this unprecedented disaster.”
The financial support for staff will be available until 30 June 2022, while families will be able to access their funds through the remainder of the 2022 and 2023 school years.
Work is continuing to repair and rebuild the physical infrastructure at 21 schools significantly impacted by the floods. The Department of Education is working closely with the school communities and across government to ensure students are back on site and learning in classrooms.