​Turnbull Government admits failure of own school funding policy in leaked document

2 February 2016

Leaked talking points confirm that the Turnbull Government plans to scrap the needs-based Gonski funding arrangements and deny much needed resources to schools and students across the country.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the Turnbull Government’s talking points for MPs also reveal the government doesn’t even support a key element of its own policy.

“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,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Its alternative funding model has been cooked up with no consultation with anyone. It would see no public school funded according to need and is contrary to all the evidence that shows need- based funding is essential.

“Instead of delivering the resources that schools and students urgently need, states including NSW, QLD and Victoria face the prospect of cuts as part of a ‘redistribution policy’.

“Now leaked Turnbull Government’s talking points for MPs show the government is planning to walk away from its own plan to index school funding according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and instead put in place an “indexation rate that better reflects the increasing cost of schooling”.

“We already have a simple and sustainable model of needs-based school funding that is achieving great things for students. The Coalition has admitted Gonski is getting results and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is a strong supporter of needs-based funding.

“It is vital that the final two years of funding are delivered in full if all children are to get education they deserve. We do not need to reinvent the wheel on this – it just creates more uncertainty for schools who want to get on with the job of teaching students and who need the additional resources to make sure no child is missing out.”

“The admission in the talking points that the Turnbull Government will ‘resolve funding for students with disability’ is welcome.

The Turnbull Government has repeatedly broken its promises on students with a disability. It promised to extend Gonski funding to all students with disability firstly in 2015 and then for 2016.

“We would like to see more detail about how the government proposes to address the enormous problem of unfunded support for more than half of all students with a disability who require additional support.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291