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Gonski needs-based funding: Turnbull must match new commitment from Labor

Jan 28, 2016Media Releases

Today the Australian Education Union in Victoria welcomed Labor’s commitment to needs-based funding and delivering the full six years of the Gonski Agreement.

Meredith Peace, AEU Victorian Branch President said teachers, principals and education staff across Victoria have been fighting for funding that delivers individual support for all students.

“Today’s announcement puts the needs of every child, regardless of where they live, how much their parents earn, or what difficulties and disabilities they have, every chance to succeed at school.

“Our bottom-line since the Coalition scrapped Gonski funding has been that education investment must be allocated based on individual needs of students. Our schools must be resourced to ensure every child has the opportunity for a high quality education and to reach their potential.

“Today’s commitment from Labor means education will be a hotly contested issue ahead of a federal election.  This is the kind of attention our children deserve.

“If Malcolm Turnbull wants innovation and productivity, the first step is to properly fund our schools.

“Instead the Turnbull Government announced quietly after Christmas it would not deliver the final two years of needs-based Gonski funding to our schools and ongoing funding beyond 2017.

“One in five students in Victoria needs additional classroom support or one-on-one assistance.  Principals and teachers know how to address their students’ individual needs, but they must be funded to deliver the programs and support our children need.

“Labor’s announcement is significant.  The current system is failing students that need additional support.

“The Turnbull Government dropped Gonski, walking away from a funding model designed to support each child’s needs.

“Victorian schools have been chronically under-funded for many years. Our schools received Gonski funding for the first time in 2016 and it is making a difference for students who need extra support.

“Without long-term funding certainty, principals and teachers can’t plan programs for the future.

“All children deserve to succeed at school.  Labor’s commitment of $4.5 billion to education with additional support for students with disabilities, gets us closer to ensuring every child can thrive,” said Ms Peace.