Time for talk is over: Australian Education Union

1 May 2018

In the wake of the Gonski 2.0 report released yesterday, the Australian Education Union (AEU) is calling on the PM Malcolm Turnbull to urgently address the gaping resource shortages facing public schools under the Government’s current school funding agenda.

The Through Growth to Achievement Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools details a number of important recommendations, all of which will require significant investment in resources to yield positive results for public schools.

“The time for talk is over – the Turnbull Government must resolve the funding shortfall for public schools to ensure that they are at 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard,” said Correna Haythorpe, President of the Australian Education Union.

“Next week’s Federal Budget will be the first real test of whether the Turnbull Government is serious about implementing the recommendations in the review and reversing its cuts of the past.

“If Malcolm Turnbull thinks by simply releasing a report he has kept voters’ concerns at bay, he is wrong. All eyes are now on the Turnbull Government to see how they deliver on the review’s recommendations.

“While we support a number of the recommendations detailed in the review, we remain steadfast in our fight for achieving fair funding now for public schools.

“This government has badly bungled this education reform process from the start. Without any thought about what was required or any consultation with the states, it decided last year on a funding plan that stripped $1.9 billion from public schools in 2018 and 2019.

“The Turnbull Government’s funding cuts leave 87% of public schools below the minimum level of funding required.

“We know that when schools have the resources they need to give students the individual attention they need, we see improved educational outcomes.”

“Implementing the new Gonski Review’s recommendations means a greater long-term investment in Early Childhood Education along with resourcing schools to better induct, mentor, train and support teachers throughout their careers.

“It also means better support for children that start school behind and have additional learning needs and more funding to provide the training and support that principals need.

“This plan cannot be successfully implemented if all schools are not resourced at a minimum to the Schooling Resource Standard. The $1.9 billion cut from public schools over the next two years must be put back and the cuts to disability funding for public schools in five states and territories overturned,” said Ms Haythorpe.

The AEU calls on the Turnbull Government to:

  • Reverse the $1.9 billion cuts to public schools in 2018 and 2019
  • Strike agreements with state and territory governments to ensure every public school is funded to 100 percent of the Schooling Resources Standard (SRS) by 2023.
  • Remove the 20 percent cap on federal funding to public schools
  • Establish a $300 million per annum capital infrastructure fund for public schools to make sure all students are educated in classrooms that meet their learning needs.
  • Reverse the cuts to disability funding in five states and territories.

The AEU’s submission to the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools

The AEU’s national school funding campaign Fair Funding Now