New report shows Gonski Gets Results

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24 February 2017

A new AEU report has shown how Gonski funding is delivering real improvement for students in schools which have received it.

The report will be launched at the AEU’s annual federal conference in Melbourne today, along with details of the next phase of the “I Give a Gonski” campaign, which includes a new advertising campaign targeting Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to fund Gonski and support under-resourced schools.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the evidence in Getting Results: Gonski Funding in Australian Schools 2 report clearly demonstrated Malcolm Turnbull had no alternative but to honour the existing signed agreements in full.

“These are fantastic stories of how dedicated teachers and targeted resources can change a child’s life,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“We are seeing improvements in literacy and numeracy, student engagement and Year 12 results, because schools are able to back the work of teachers with the right support.

“These stories are being repeated in thousands of schools across Australia, but if Malcolm Turnbull gets his way, schools won’t get Gonski funding increases after 2017.

“That means schools won’t be able to extend successful programs and many students will miss out on the vital support they need.

The AEU will step up the “I Give A Gonski” campaign next week with national TV, radio and digital advertising along with a bus tour through marginal seats in SA, QLD, NSW and Victoria. The bus tour will finish in Canberra on March 22.

The conference will be addressed by students from Canley Vale High School in NSW, and Kambrya College in Victoria, who have been helped by the funding and whose schools are profiled in the report.

The report featured 24 schools in NSW, Victoria, SA and Queensland which have lifted results for their students. These schools have used their funding in different ways, because each of their school communities is different and has different needs.

Stories in the report include :

Loganlea High School in Brisbane: Loganlea High School has used its Gonski funding to give more one-to-one support and mentoring to older students. As a result 100 per cent of Year 12s are achieving their Queensland Certificate of Education and a Vocational Education certificate – up from 68% a few years ago.

Principal Belinda Tregea says that:“The issues faced by our students included poor rates of attendance, poverty and health issues as well as academic challenges. The ability for us to employ additional specialist staff to support our students has made a tangible difference.

Colac Primary School in regional Victoria: Has focused on lifting literacy through targeted interventions for Grade One students who are more than six months behind. Over 90 per cent of students who got support have experienced more than 12 months growth in the first year.

Principal Shelby Papadopoulos says that: “We were coming from a position of never having had the financial ability to provide the level of support that our students require. It would be heartbreaking if, having had a sense of what can be achieved through our 2016 Gonski funding, we lost the possibility to make that same difference for all our students.”

Sanctuary Point Public School on the NSW south coast: is a low-SES school which has used its funding to lift attendance, increase its literacy and numeracy scores, through speech pathology and Multi Lit and to better engage parents with the school by hiring a support worker. They have also focused on professional development for staff to lift the quality of teaching at the school. Attendance rates are now at the state average, and student achievement has risen accordingly.

Principal Jeff Ward says: At Sanctuary Point the benefits of Gonski funding show that it is more than an investment in education. It is an investment in the community which will have long-term educational and social benefits.

The full Getting Results Report is available here.

For more information on the AEU’s annual conference visit the conference homepage.