New report shows Gonski needed to fight inequality in schools

1 June 2016

A new Centre for Policy Development report has shown the need for Gonski funding and the damage that Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to schools funding will do to disadvantaged schools and students, the AEU said today.

The report finds that inequality in schools funding has been increasing and this is driving bigger gaps in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged schools.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that the report was yet more evidence that needs-based Gonski funding was needed to ensure all students could get a quality education.

“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.

“This report is more evidence that we need the full six years of Gonski funding to address past inequities, which saw the biggest funding increases go to the most advantaged schools.

“It shows that inequity in schools rose between 2010 and 2015, with gaps in performance between advantaged and disadvantaged schools rising.

“This report also confirms the inequities in our schools funding system, which have seen government funding to private schools increase at twice the rate of public schools in recent years, despite public schools educating a disproportionate amount of disadvantaged students.

“Gonski funding is beginning to address this, and is ensuring that students get access to the smaller classes, one-to-one support and extra programs they need to reach their potential.

“But two-thirds of the extra funding schools need comes in the last two years of Gonski, – the years that Malcolm Turnbull plans to cut.

“Labor and the Greens have committed to an extra $3.8 billion in 2018 and 2019 to fund the Gonski reforms in schools.

“We need this investment for our schools, not Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts.

“We should not accept a situation where students at disadvantaged schools are three years behind their advantaged peers by the time they get to Year 9, and where one-in-seven students is at risk of leaving school without the literacy skills they need for a job.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291