Gonski Week shows extra funding making a positive difference in schools

26 October 2015

Gonski Week (Oct 26 - Nov 1) starts today celebrating the difference Gonski funding is making to schools and the need for governments to provide the full six years of needs-based funding recommended by the Gonski Review.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said Gonski funding was already making a difference to schools that had received it, and it was time for new PM Malcolm Turnbull to decide if he would support the full six years.

“Schools that have got Gonski funding are using it to make a positive difference for their students, especially those in disadvantaged schools,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“This may be through reduced class sizes, extra literacy and numeracy programs, support staff like speech therapists or more one-on-one support to students. All of these things are lifting results.

“We know this funding is working but we need bipartisan support across the country.

“Malcolm Turnbull must decide whether he will abandon Tony Abbott’s cuts to Gonski and give schools the funding they need.

“We are already seeing the benefits of Gonski which makes it even more crucial that all States pass on Gonski funding in full, and that the Federal Government provides the full six years of Gonski funding.

“The current refusal to fund the last two years of the agreements – when the majority of extra funding was to be delivered – will mean that many schools won’t get the resources they need.

“Many schools will be holding Gonski Week events to demonstrate the difference extra resources can make and let communities know why we need Gonski funding.

“Teachers, parents and principals will be telling Malcolm Turnbull how important this issue is for their schools.

“Local MPs have been invited to visit schools to see for themselves how Gonski funding is working. We need to know if they are willing to stand up and get their local schools the extra resources they need.

“The AEU is campaigning hard on the ground to get bipartisan support for the six years of Gonski reforms, with 18 local coordinators employed in marginal federal seats until the next election.

“These coordinators are working with schools and letting parents and the community know the benefits that extra resources can bring. Parents and school communities need to know what it will mean for their schools if we do not get the full six years of Gonski funding.

“Gonski funding is already going direct to schools in NSW, Queensland and South Australia, and will go to Victorian schools for the first time in 2016.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has said that: ‘The success stories I am hearing in schools are incredible’.

Sadly, WA and the NT are not passing on extra funding to schools, and Tasmania has only delivered a fraction of what was promised. Students in these States are missing out because the Federal Government has failed to make them accountable for distributing Gonski funding.

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291