St Kilda Primary School and Launch Housing have been awarded ‘Partnership of the Year’ through Inner Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network (IELLEN) for the work we do in regard to the Education Pathways Short Term Enrolment Program (STEP Program).
At St Kilda Primary School, we have a fundamental belief in the potential of every child, irrespective of socio-economic background or personal circumstance. STEP is a tangible demonstration of this commitment, by providing pathways for children experiencing homelessness, or who are disengaged from school.
STEP seeks to re-engage children with their primary school education in a safe and supportive environment. STEP is enriching for the students and families involved, who are often facing trauma or significant crisis, and for whom STEP and inclusion in St Kilda Primary School creates a sense of belonging and hope. We have also found it enriching for the wider school community, where there is strong support for the school’s commitment to student and community welfare.
STEP would not be possible without the extraordinary commitment of the St Kilda Primary School staff, for whom the welfare and wellbeing of our students is of utmost importance, or the dedication of the Launch Housing team and associated multi-disciplinary support services, who play an increasingly vital role in our community, helping to address homelessness, transience and chronic disadvantage.
While it is a sad reflection on society that we even need such a program in our modern, first world economy, it is obvious that without it some of the most vulnerable children in our community would slip through the cracks of formal education and miss the chance to realise their full potential. St Kilda Primary School is therefore enormously proud of the contribution we make through STEP to improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
School Council President
I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work undertaken by all SKPS staff, especially Linda Grof and Judy Morrow and Launch staff, particularly Michelle McDonald, Samantha Hoppe, Gemma McKechnie, KateRibton-Turner, Shannon Richardson, Tess Nikolsky and Liz Bloom
Since February last year we have had 115 children transitioning through our school as part of the STEP program. Staff and children have welcomed each child, providing a welcoming, safe, nurturing environment for the time they have been part of our school. Our lives have become richer for having our STEP children.