Close election result shows Gonski funding matters to Australian voters

The NSW Secondary Principals’ Council is the professional body representing Principals of government schools and colleges in NSW that have secondary school enrolments. The Council works closely with senior officials from the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Education Minister and provides advice on matters relating to public secondary education in NSW.

The NSW Secondary Principals’ Council believes the close election result highlights the importance the Australian public places on the issue of schools funding. Exit polling by SKY News found that 63 per cent of voters rated education as a “very important” issue, only slightly behind health at 72 per cent, and ahead of economic management at 51 per cent.

NSW Secondary Principals’ Council President, Chris Presland, said the Gonski model of school funding was an important issue for voters. “Increased funding and resources are already lifting results for students and the close nature of the election shows that voters want Malcolm Turnbull’s government to commit to the full six years of Gonski funding.”

“Members of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council consistently report that the Gonski reforms are having a direct impact in lifting rates of Year 12 completion and increasing literacy and numeracy levels. For these improved educational outcomes to continue it is vital for the Prime Minister to commit to the Gonski funding model.”

Mr Presland also said that schools deserve long-term policy certainty to enable planning and growth. “The Gonski model of school funding is the only comprehensive funding model which delivers long term funding and stability. Having funding certainty will enable our schools to invest in programs and resources which enable every child to reach their potential.”

Voters have sent Malcolm Turnbull’s government a strong message about the importance the Australian public place on the public funding of services such as health and education. It is now time for the government to commit to continuing Gonski funding beyond 2017. Implementing a fair and equitable education funding model is crucial to ensuring Australia’s long term economic and social prosperity.

The NSW Secondary Principals’ Council looks forward to discussing with the government the benefits of the Gonski funding model as the only evidence-based plan for the equitable funding of education in Australia.

Chris Presland
President, NSW Secondary Principals’ Council
M: 0414986514
E: chris.presland@det.nsw.edu.au

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