With the upcoming NSW and Federal elections, the issue of school funding is again in the headlines. SPC President, Chris Presland, said this interest presented an opportunity to highlight the importance of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS):
“The SRS is an estimate of how much total public funding a school needs to meet the educational needs of its students, as recommended by the 2011 Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling.The structure of the SRS is extremely sound because funding is directed towards the students that need it most. Every child has a right to a quality education and investing in a needs-based funding model through the SRS goes a long way towards addressing the needs of our most disadvantaged students, regardless of where they go to school.”
Mr. Presland said NSW must lead the way when it comes to funding the SRS:
“NSW public schools have been below the minimum SRS for too long with no guarantee that this would change. Obviously, we’ve seen the recent announcement by NSW Labor to fully deliver 100 per cent of the SRS if elected at the upcoming state election which is welcomed, however this isn’t an endorsement of any particular political party. What is crucial is that any future government, regardless of political persuasion, commits to reaching 100 per cent of the SRS for every student as quickly as possible.
I think any politician would be remiss to underestimate how passionate and proud Australian voters are when it comes to our public schools and the importance of fair and transparent education funding. Reaching 100 per cent of the SRS has the potential to change lives and transform the educational outcomes of our students. It would allow teachers and school leaders to provide the resources needed to better meet the individual learning needs of students and represents the kind of investment we need to see to fund schools into the future.
We need to move beyond seeing education funding as some sort of political point scoring device and understand that a better funded education system leads to a stronger economy and a better society for many years into the future. It needs to be seen as an investment not a cost.”