Turnbull Government plan to cut schools funding exposed

1 February 2016

The Turnbull Government must abandon its plans to cut schools funding to the majority of States from 2018 and move away from needs-based Gonski funding, the AEU said today.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said reports today that the Turnbull Government planned to cut funding to public school systems after 2017 would hurt students.

“Under the Turnbull Government’s plans not only will students miss out on an extra $4.5 billion in schools funding from the last two years of the Gonski agreements but they will face the prospect of cuts to Federal funding to schools in the majority of States,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“NSW, Queensland, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Tasmania will all receive less under the plan to give all States a flat rate of funding. It is no wonder that States are protesting against the Federal Government’s plans.

“Setting funding to schools at a fixed percentage for each state means that no public school will be funded according to the needs of its students from 2018.

“Separating out funding for public and private school systems is a dangerous move away from the needs-based principles of the Gonski reforms. It will mean that disadvantaged schools will not get the resources they need for their students.

“The Gonski funding model was the result of years of work and consultation with education experts and stakeholders. We still do not know what the Federal Government intends to replace it with.

“In the States where Gonski funding is being delivered directly to schools, we are already seeing improved results.

“Students are getting more one-to-one support in classrooms and extra literacy and numeracy programs, and services like speech therapy. Students who are at risk of falling behind are getting the early intervention support they need.

“Every student who needs help at school should be able to get it. That’s why needs-based funding is essential.

“There is a strong link in Australia between disadvantage and poor outcomes at school. Targeted resources is our chance to break that link.

“We do not need a new funding system for schools, particularly one which will leave the majority of States worse off, we need the Turnbull Government to honour the full six years of the Gonski agreements.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291