AEU extends Gonski advertising campaign, calling on Turnbull to commit to full six years

31 March 2016

The AEU will extend its Gonski advertising campaign as the issue of schools funding becomes increasingly important in this year’s election.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the AEU would continue to use advertising to campaign for bi-partisan support for the full six years of Gonski funding because the issue was vital for Australia’s future.

“The AEU is campaigning for bi-partisan support for the full six years of Gonski funding and is spending more than $2 million on TV advertising, backed by a print and digital campaign.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to address the issue of school funding before this year’s election. Mr Turnbull must commit to funding the full six years of Gonski and match Labor’s commitment to an extra $4.5 billion in resources to schools in 2018 and 2019.

“Schools should be on the agenda at Friday’s COAG meeting because the issue of properly funding schools beyond 2017 is vital for our children.”

“Our advertising campaign has been highly successful so far, and we have produced new ads featuring the stories of principals and parents who have seen the results of increased resources first-hand, airing this week and next.

“These ads are highlighting the difference Gonski funding is making for students in schools which are receiving extra funding.

“Across Australia we are seeing schools able to provide more support for students who are struggling by providing extra one-to-one support and literacy and numeracy programs

A video featuring Sarah Rudling, principal of Barrack Heights Public School in NSW, shows the value of education and Gonski funding to the entire community.

Ms Rudling says:

“I don’t think people realise how many families and children are really struggling and that schools are making significant changes in the lives of children and in the community. The funding we get goes to making sure that children are given opportunities, to improve themselves to get them more engaged in their learning, to build their confidence and take that back into their families.

Every cent we receive we put into children to make sure they can have the best educational outcomes.

It just doesn’t make sense not to continue Gonski funding, not for the children and not for our community.”

Ms Haythorpe said thousands of students were already benefiting from Gonski funding, but most of the increased resources were due to be delivered in the final two years of the agreements.

“If Malcolm Turnbull fails to fund Gonski in full, he is failing our kids.

“We know that 1-in-7 15 year-olds struggles to read properly, and 1-in-5 struggles with basic maths .

“We also know that disadvantaged students are five times more likely to be poor performers than students from wealthy backgrounds.

“It is not in our long-term social or economic interest to let these children leave school without the skills to get a job or lead a successful life.

“Gonski funding delivers extra funding to all schools, but delivers the biggest increases to schools which educate disadvantaged students.

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291