Gonski key to school kids’ growth

NSW schools will remain inequitable and under-resourced unless the Gonski school funding deals are delivered in full, the NSW government has warned, after the federal education minister ruled out paying for the final two years of Labor’s deals.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the Coalition would instead seek to negotiate new funding agreements from 2018 – the year the bulk of the Gonski funding was to begin flowing.

Scrapping the final two years of Gonski would leave Australian schools $4 billion poorer, according to school funding expert Jim McMorrow.NSW schools would be $1.27 billion worse off, public schools the hardest hit.

Broulee Public SchoolP&C Gonski Sub-Committee Chairperson Jesse Rowan saidthe final two years of Gonski needs-based funding would ensure the school could support children to reach their potential.

If the school received the full amount of Gonski funding, they would expand their existing literacyprogramand start a similar program for numeracy.

“If the full six years of Gonski funding is not delivered, many schools will not be properly resourced to meet every child’s learning needs,” Ms Rowan said.

“There are many under-performing children to whom we would like to be able to offer more learning support, but current funding won’t stretch that far.”

NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “I understand their budget position but we’re committed to delivering these funds because we want to determine whether the educational outcomes of our children have improved.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said: “Our position is the full six years of Gonski should be funded. We continue to lobby for it.

Mr Piccoli said NSW was happy to be held accountable for how it was spending federal funds.

“The extra money isbeing spent on things we know work: quality teaching, school counsellors, speech therapists. We are giving targeted support to children in kindergarten at risk of falling behind,” he said.

Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe said: “If Malcolm Turnbull walks away from the Gonski agreements, he will abandon the students who need help the most, by denying their schools the extra resources they need.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring that all Australian kids get a great education, whatever school they go to.

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