More support for Turnbull Government’s schools plan

Media Release
  • Minister for Education and Training

The Turnbull Government’s plan for schools has continued to be recognised for its fairness and equity.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government’s proposal ensured every school was supported based on its need regardless of background, sector or faith while ensuring that investment is tied to initiatives in schools proven to boost outcomes.

“We are delivering on what David Gonski and his expert panel recommended,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australian schools will get an additional $18.6 billion that is distributed according to need and tied to real reforms in schools which are proven to boost student results. That stands in stark contrast to Labor’s funding model which embedded 27 special deals that distorted how funding was distributed and didn’t match what was recommended by David Gonski and his panel of experts.

“Our plan will see all schools reach a consistent share of funding within a decade, unlike the 150 years of inequity that current arrangements would entail."

“This is about how to provide the highest quality of education for every student and we shouldn't make that a political issue.”
- Bill Scales, original ‘Gonski’ panellist, ABC AM Interview, 3/5/17

“I think this is a fabulous deal for South Australia… Every school in South Australia will benefit from this, every single one….”
- Principal Michael Honey, Nazareth Catholic College Primary Campus, Interview on ABC Radio Adelaide, 3/5/17

“The Australian Parents Council welcomes the announcement by the Prime Minister and Education Minister… ‘It is very positive to hear the commitment to a single, needs-based, sector blind funding model for Australian schools…’”
- Shelley Hill, Australian Parents Council, Media release, 3/5/17

“This has been an ongoing issue of course, and I would initially have to congratulate Minister Birmingham…”
- Kevan Goodworth, CEO P&Cs Queensland, Interview on ABC Radio Brisbane, 3/5/17

“…the things that stand out to me as positive are a much bigger emphasis on really matching the funding to where it's needed. So the first version of Gonski did a lot of this, but it had shortcomings. For example, the top up for the low SES schools went to the lowest 50 per cent, rather than the lowest 25 per cent. So it meant that it was spread very thinly and those schools that really needed that boost in order to get just the basic things in place - like the specialist literacy teachers and adequate facilities and staffing - weren't able to get those basic needs necessarily met. So it's got a much better target. It's going to be spread over 10 years, so that means greater funding certainty for schools.”- Bronwyn Hinz, The Mitchell Institute, Interview on ABC Southern Queensland, 3/5/17

“The Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations (TASSO) applaud the Prime Minister’s, recent announcement for reviewing education funding, in the form of Gonski 2.0. TASSO have always supported a needs based funding model that allows all students to reach their full potential and parents to have confidence in the quality of schools and staff.”
- TASSO, Media release, 3/5/17

“I think it's fantastic that we've got the Turnbull Government coming out and engaging with David Gonski and looking at really a genuine commitment to needs-based funding… I think it's great that there's a move away from 27 separate funding models across the jurisdictions and states to what should be a single model - which is what Gonski had always intended. The commitment to funding that model for 10 years and ensuring that all schools reach the minimum school resourcing standard is also a positive”
- Craig Peterson, NSW Secondary Principals’ Council, ABC Central West NSW, 3/5/17

Minister Birmingham welcomed the comments which came in addition to the voices of support that had been heard immediately after the announcement was made.

“I'm very pleased to hear that the Turnbull Government has accepted the fundamental recommendations of our 2011 report, and particularly regarding a needs-based situation…I'm very pleased that there is substantial additional money, even over indexation and in the foreseeable future.”
- David Gonski AC, Media conference, 2/5/17

“The urgency to implement the current funding model four years ago resulted in some inconsistencies in the model. We welcome the Government’s attempt to make the new model more consistent in application.”
- Colette Colman, Independent Schools Council of Australia, Media release, 2/5/17

“Common funding arrangements across the country will see greater transparency and give principals confidence that what they receive in school funding is fair and equitable”
- Dennis Yarrington, Australian Primary Principals Association, Media release, 2/5/17

“The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) has welcomed the Turnbull Government’s announcement of a consultative review to provide policy advice on educational reform…AHISA also welcomed the Government’s commitment to increased investment in school education.”
- Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, Media release, 2/5/17

“The move to reduce the twenty-seven funding agreements into a single model, with no special deals, may finally bring truly needs based funding to all sectors.”
- Phillip Spratt, Australian Council of State School Organisations, Media release, 2/5/17

“Today’s announcement on school funding is welcome. The Coalition has set out a 10-year goal of every school being consistently funded by the Commonwealth.”
- Peter Goss, Grattan Institute, 2/5/17

“The proposed changes represent the kind of careful redesign of government programs that we champion. They should ultimately help deliver better services and target taxpayer support at those who most need it.”
- Jennifer Westacott, Business Council of Australia, Media Release, 2/5/17

“Independent schools welcome the Australian Government’s commitment to implementing a truly national schools funding model that is driven by student need regardless of what school a student attends or state they live in…Independent schools welcome the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to the non-government schooling sector…”
- David Robertson, Independent Schools Queensland, 2/5/17

Minister Birmingham said that he welcomed the constructive contributions and feedback he had received on the Turnbull Government’s plans for schools and said that it was disappointing the Labor Party had continued to try to scare parents and teachers.

“I was surprised to hear the Opposition Education Spokesperson come out and say it’s a “waste of time” to try and fix a broken model of funding to ensure the system is truly needs-based as David Gonski recommended. Tanya Plibersek has shown she’s much more interested in a schools scare campaign than she is in helping all Australia schools and students get the support they need,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Aside from the Opposition playing opposition politics with this issue, the only critics have been those seeking to preserve special deals at the expense of consistency and fairness.

“As well as ensuring Australia has truly needs-based funding the Turnbull Government recognises how important it is to see that funding used on initiatives in schools that boost student results.

“That’s why David Gonski will lead an entirely new inquiry into the most effective teaching and learning strategies to reverse the declining results of Australian schools.

"This new work will not revisit the review on funding because our reforms act on its recommendations. Instead, it’ll be about ensuring our record and growing levels of funding are used effectively to support the implementation of programs in schools proven to boost student outcomes.”

Further details of the Turnbull Government’s plan to transform schools available here and at www.education.gov.au/qualityschools

For more information

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