The NSW SPC believes one of the top priorities for the new Federal Minister for Education and Training, Dan Tehan, is to implement needs-based funding and provide funding certainty to schools. The SPC President, Chris Presland, reiterated the need for Mr. Tehan and the Federal government to deliver on the promise of the Gonski funding model:
“We can commission report after report to investigate how to best equip students and teachers to achieve educational success, however what it comes down to is money and money being spent in the right places.
One of the great falsehoods I’ve heard propagated by our politicians is that money doesn’t make a difference. If we are serious about maximising the learning growth of every student then we need to address funding inequity. It is only through strong systemic support for schools and an equitable funding model that we will ensure Australia’s rich educational heritage continues to challenge, support and enrich young people.”
There is strong evidence which shows schools are doing great things and that additional funding and resources have made a huge difference. However, boosting Australia’s international educational performance will remain unattainable unless there is a commitment to funding being spent in the right places. Mr. Presland also urged Mr. Tehan to ensure students were the central focus in any policy discussion about education:
“The SPC looks forward to discussing the needs of NSW public school students with the new minister. Mr. Tehan is obviously taking on a huge portfolio, however if I could offer any advice it would be that policy decisions should be made in the best interests of individual students, not individual sectors. Our students are our greatest advocates in demonstrating how extra funding matters and they deserve a commitment from our political leaders regarding the full implementation of a needs-based funding model in 2018 and beyond.”