New report shows Gonski funding delivering improved results for SA schools

4 June 2016

Gonski funding is delivering improved results for students in South Australia, a new AEU report has found.

The “Getting Results: Gonski funding in Australia’s schools” report, profiles 24 schools, including three in South Australia, which have used needs-based Gonski funding to lift student performance.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the report was clear evidence that needs-based Gonski funding was working in States like South Australia which were delivering funding directly to students.

“This is why we need the full six years of Gonski funding right through to 2019, to ensure all schools get the funding they need to help their students reach their potential.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to fund disadvantaged schools is failing our students. It is a short-sighted policy that ignores the huge social and economic benefits of investing in schools.

“All students that need help at school should be able to get it, regardless of what school they attend.

“Under Malcolm Turnbull, South Australian schools will miss out on $356 million in extra resources in those two years alone. This is funding which both Labor and the Greens have committed to delivering.

Ms Haythorpe will speak at the South Australian launch of the report in Adelaide this morning.

“The schools in this report have recorded improvements including better literacy and numeracy, higher rates of Year 12 completion and increases in university offers. These are tangible benefits which will last for the rest of these students’ lives,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“We are seeing these benefits despite the fact we are less than half way through the Gonski agreements and the majority of increased Gonski funding is yet to be delivered.

“Why would Malcolm Turnbull want to stop Gonski halfway through when the evidence is that it is working?

The following schools are examples of how Gonski funding is delivering results in SA.

  • Paralowie R-12 School has used Gonski funding to provide individual support to students with disability or learning difficulty and lift their results. Students are improving three times faster than expected in literacy.
  • Roma Mitchell Secondary College has lifted attendance rates and achievement of students, and lifted progression in reading, writing, grammar and spelling between Years 7 and 9 thanks to the appointment of a specialist Literacy Coordinator, mentors for students, and the employment of a speech pathologist.
  • Darlington Primary School has lifted student literacy and numeracy by providing extra support for students through intensive learning opportunities. With extra support many students have made a year’s progress in one term.

Ms Haythorpe said the schools in the report were just some of the hundreds across Australia whose students were benefiting from Gonski funding.

“Schools are telling us that Gonski funding finally gives them the chance to do the things they need to do so their students can reach their potential,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“Often it just takes one program or one extra staff member to put a child on the right track to learning. This funding is making sure that every child who needs help at school can get it.

“Students who need the extra literacy and numeracy programs, smaller classes and one-to-one support that Gonski can provide will be the losers from Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to invest in our schools.

“We know that 1-in-5 students starts school not ready to learn. Disadvantage starts early and if it is not addressed it gets worse.

“That’s why funding on the basis of need is so important. We need the full six years of Gonski funding to address inequity and make sure all schools have the resources they need for their students.

“Malcolm Turnbull needs to recognise that we cannot have an agile and innovative nation if one-in-seven 15 year olds is at risk of leaving school without the basic skills they need for work.

The full report is available at http://aeu.unionsystems.com.au/application/files/1914/6284/3484/GonskResults2016.pdf


Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291