NSW research shows why we need Gonski for disadvantaged schools

9 February 2016

New research commissioned by the NSW Education Department has shown the need for investment in education to combat social inequality and give all students a chance, the AEU said today.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the research was more evidence the Turnbull Government needed to commit to the full six years of Gonski funding so that all schools which educated disadvantaged students have the resources they needed.

“This research has found high levels of inequality in Australia, and strong links between disadvantage and lack of social mobility.

“It argues that the key to a reduction in intergenerational inequality is investment in education.

“This investment must be needs-based Gonski funding that gives children from disadvantaged backgrounds the support they need to achieve at school.

“We need Malcolm Turnbull to deliver the full six years of Gonski funding to ensure that all students get the support they need, no matter where they go to school.

“The Turnbull Government wants to scrap Gonski despite the evidence of the success of the funding arrangements and despite having signed six year agreements with five state and territory governments.

“It wants an alternative funding model which would see an end to needs-based funding after 2017, and which could see funding to some States cut.

“For disadvantaged students a quality education is their first and best chance to catch up with the rest of Australia and to reach their potential.

“This research backs a comprehensive study by the Mitchell Institute last year into the links between disadvantage and poor school results, which found there was a clear link between starting school not ready to learn, and failing to go on to further education or work after school.

“This research found that only half of those behind when they start school will have caught up by year 7 and only one-third from the most disadvantaged backgrounds will have caught up.

“We also have 40 per cent of students from the most disadvantaged households failing to complete Year 12 or its equivalent.

“We need to identify struggling students as early as possible and give them the extra support and resources they need to succeed at school. This investment means they will develop the skills needed to complete school and move into work.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291