Focus on student needs not NAPLAN results

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The Australian Education Union has warned against placing excessive emphasis on the NAPLAN results released today, arguing that it is more important to make sure that all schools receive the funding and resources they need to deliver for students and raise student outcomes.

Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian Education Union said the Turnbull Government’s school funding plan will make it harder for schools to lift student results as it fails to deliver the vital resources to bridge the gap of disadvantage many students face.

“Schools need proper funding and resources to lift results and achievement levels,” said Ms Haythorpe.

“Unfortunately the Federal Government plan will not deliver the much-needed funding that our schools require, meaning the Turnbull Government is leaving some of our most vulnerable students without the support they need to succeed at school.

“We know that proper funding makes a significant difference and lifts student outcomes.

Under the original Gonski Agreement the majority of funding was to be delivered to schools in 2018 and 2019, so schools were still to see the full benefit of needs-based funding.

“It is vitally important for schools to be able to invest in student learning with additional teaching and educational support staff, literacy and numeracy programs and early learning intervention. However, it is clear that Turnbull’s plan will not deliver anywhere near the level of funding required by 2023, leaving the vast majority of public schools well below the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS).

“Lifting student outcomes does not mean simply lifting NAPLAN results.

“NAPLAN is just one test, a snapshot, and on its own provides a narrow and incomplete picture of a student’s education and does not take into account the high quality, broad curriculum and learning experience that schools provide.

“We need our students to have the opportunity to be engaged in their learning with extracurricular activities and a broad, high quality curriculum that will help them develop the skills to enter the modern workplace.

“The reality is that the Turnbull Government’s education scheme will make this much harder and will mean schools will not have the funding they need to provide the support and resources our students deserve,” said Ms Haythorpe.