Rally against Malcolm Turnbull's $735 million Gonski cuts to Queensland schools

24 June 2016

Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to Gonski funding after 2017 will cost Queensland schools $735 in vital resources, the AEU said today.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe, who will speak at a Gonski rally in the Brisbane CBD this afternoon, said that Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to Gonski would fail Queensland schools and students.

“Queensland schools and students will miss out on vital resources under Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to end Gonski after 2017,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“We know Gonski funding is working in Queensland, with schools able to give their students the benefit of smaller classes, more one-to-one support and extra literacy and numeracy programs.

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

“There is a lot more to be done before all Queensland schools have the resources they need to properly educate their students.

“Two-thirds of the increased funding is to be delivered in 2018 and 2019, the years that Malcom Turnbull wants to cut.

“Labor and the Greens have committed to delivering Gonski funding in full, which will deliver an extra $735 million to Queensland schools in that time.

“Queensland has high numbers of students in regional schools and high numbers of Indigenous students, all of whose schools benefit from needs-based Gonski funding.

Queensland schools have been receiving Gonski funding since 2014 and are using it to improve results and give students new opportunities. Funding is going to all schools, but the biggest increases go to the schools which educate the most disadvantaged students.

For example:

  • Minimbah State School in Caboolture has lifted literacy rates through targeted programs, speech therapy and professional development to lift the quality of teaching.
  • Beenleigh State High School in Brisbane has been able to hire extra staff to focus on engagement and student retention, as well as extra literacy and numeracy support for struggling students. The results have been an increase in attendance and a lift in Year 9 NAPLAN scores

“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.

“Properly resourcing our schools gives every child a chance, and will boost our economy in the long-term.

“We cannot continue with a situation where one-in-seven children is at risk of leaving school without the literacy skills they need for work.

“Malcolm Turnbull can find money for a tax cut for companies, but not to give our students the resources they need.

Media Contact: Ben Ruse: 0437 971 291