TURNBULL TURNS HIS BACK ON AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL STUDENTS

Malcolm Turnbull has rejected the entitlement of every child in an Australian School to access quality needs-based education and abandoned students most in need.

The Gonski Review provided a thoroughly researched series of School Funding recommendations for all students, in all schools across all Australian educational jurisdictions, states and territories and the Coalition should be funding the full six years of Gonski.

“Students in my school and thousands of other young people in our schools nationally will not get the individual and relevant additional learning support that they need and deserve,” said Lila Mularczyk, President, NSW Secondary Principals’ Council and Principal, Merrylands High School.

“Gonski resourcing in NSW schools is showing significant improvements in student learning. Young people most in need are accessing targeted learning support as highlighted by the evidence shared in recent years by NSW School Principals”, Ms Mularczyk said.

“Mr Turnbull’s announcement will relegate our most needy students and our nation to further educational decline. We have the opportunity to rectify the educational inequality throughout our diverse schooling systems. The Federal Coalition is proposing an inadequately funded model, more than $3 billion short of the six year needs-based Gonski model,” she said.

“How does a Government decide on a policy where some students have access to a quality education and others don’t?“

The Coalition’s funding proposal will result in more schools becoming disadvantaged and leaving students with far fewer resources than the Gonski Review recommended and consequently far fewer life choices,” Ms Mularczyk said.

“Gonski funding is working, but we need certainty and the full six years to ensure all our schools and our students have the resources they need.”

Ms Mularczyk said the majority of States were delivering extra funding direct to schools,   delivering programs that help lift student results. NSW Schools, students and communities are showing outstanding results. The Federal Government must deliver its share of the last two years of Gonski, not an underfunded model that leaves schools  $3 billion short.

“Prime Minister Turnbull should be visiting schools to find out for himself what Gonski funding is achieving.”

“And Education Minister Simon Birmigham should be taking note of the stories he has been hearing in schools from students and teachers about the impact of learning disadvantage and what need to be done to make sure all our students get a good education.”

Ms Mularczyk said the NSW Education Reform Agenda identified strategies and resources for improving literacy and numeracy levels. But more funding was required for programs to meet students’ needs, especially in maths and science.

She said there was no significant evidence to support the proposition that performance pay was the answer.

“We will continue to advocate for funding to cover the full six years of Gonski so that all students in all schools have access to a quality education.
Media comment Lila Mularczyk, President, NSW Secondary Principals’ Council; Principal Merrylands High School

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