Labor’s $5 million boost to arts education for disadvantaged primary school students

A primary school arts program that’s been proven to boost kids’ literacy rates will get a national trial thanks to a $5 million investment from a Shorten Labor Government.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government, which will provide education opportunities to support disadvantaged children, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

The Song Room program works with disadvantaged schools to deliver music, drama, dance and art classes.

It gives students the opportunity to learn artistic skills, but it’s also shown to improve their performance in literacy, science, technology.

Nearly all Song Room students had literacy results above national minimum standards. Song Room students were 12 months ahead of their peers in literacy and six months ahead in science and technology.

The program has also reduced school absences by 65 per cent.

And the gap in literacy achievement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children virtually disappeared for students doing Song Room.

This program is changing lives, and we want it to be available in more schools.

The investment by Federal Labor will allow Song Room projects to be piloted over three years in 32 schools, across every state and territory in Australia.

The pilot is expected to benefit 12,000 students, 2,500 parents, and 575 teachers.

Each pilot school will receive:

  • An expert music, dance, drama, or art teacher for one day every week.
  • Arts training for every generalist teacher at the school.
  • Community development activities to better involve parents in arts education.
  • An evaluation of the program at the end of the pilot.
The $5 million will also go towards developing a range of ready-to-use resources including teacher packs, student activity sheets, easy to follow videos, and at-home activities developed in partnership with artists and arts organisations.

These materials will available free, nationally.

Labor’s commitment to Song Room comes on top of our extra $14 billion for Australian public schools.

We can afford to make investments in education, because unlike the Liberals we aren’t giving tax handouts to the top end of town.

End the chaos. Vote for change. Vote for Labor.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.