Gillard Pushes Gonski Education Funding
3 September 2012 at 3:39 pm
The Federal Government’s response to the Gonski education review has been described as an historic commitment to overhaul the way schools are funded.
The Prime Minister delivered the Government’s response in a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra.
“Today I announce that the Government will adopt the Review’s core recommendation that every child’s education should be supported with a benchmark amount of funding: a new Schooling Resource Standard based on what it costs to educate a student at the schools we know already get strong results,” Gillard said.
“And that extra needs should be met through a system of “needs loadings” – extra funding, per student, to help students from low SES backgrounds, indigenous students, students with disability and students with limited English skills, as well as to help with extra costs for small and remote schools.”
The Australian Education Union (AEU) has called on the State and Territory leaders to put the interest of children first and commit to the funding outlined by Prime Minister Gillard.
AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said the Federal Government had made an historic commitment to overhaul the way schools were funded.
“Today’s announcement is an acknowledgement that the current funding arrangements are failing our children and must be scrapped,” Gavrielatos said.
“What is now required is for the Federal Government and state and territory leaders to demonstrate their commitment to our children and agree on the changes and additional investment required.
“Any leader who does not sign on to school funding reform will be sending a clear message to parents about their unwillingness to act in the interests of children.
“The price of failing to act will be enormous. That price will be paid by children, it will be paid by communities and it will be paid by our country in reduced prosperity and reduced opportunities.
“The urgent need for additional resources was clearly established by the Gonski Review and all ways to speed up the transition should be considered,” he said.
The Prime Minister has asked the States and Territories and Catholic and Independent schools to sign up to new requirements:
- Lifting teacher quality, including requiring more classroom experience before graduation and higher entry requirements for the teaching profession
- More power for principals, including over budgets and staff selection
- More information for parents through My School
“Nothing matters more to the quality of a child’s education than the quality of the teacher standing in front of the classroom,” she said.
“By 2025, I want Australian schools to be back in the top five schooling systems in the world.
“By 2025, Australia should be ranked as a top five country in the world in Reading, Science and Mathematics – and for providing our children with a high-quality and high-equity education system.”
The Government is proposing a six year transition to the proposed new system. Schools are already funded for next year so the changes are planned to begin in 2014.