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Needs-based funding key to fixing educational disadvantage

Oct 27, 2015Media Releases

The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch says the Mitchell Institute’s report on educational disadvantage released today tells a familiar but important story. The earlier a student’s learning difficulties are identified and supported with individualised intervention, the less likely they are to fall behind throughout their education.

“Without individual attention in the classroom, students who struggle continue to struggle,” said Meredith Peace, President of the Australian Education Union Victorian Branch.

“Gonski needs-based funding means children get the support they need to succeed, regardless of their background or their ability to pay.

“When it comes to learning difficulties, we know early intervention is the most effective way to improve outcomes for individual children, families, and communities.

“When children receive individual assistance with learning difficulties early, their incidence of future learning problems, behaviours and overall health is improved.

“The earlier children get the assistance they need, the better chance they have of overcoming barriers caused by disadvantage. Those students who miss out on the assistance they need in early childhood end up being the 26 percent who do not complete their studies.

“Ten percent of children who struggle with schooling in their early years remain behind throughout their schooling. This is a new set of figures, but the story is familiar. Disadvantage becomes entrenched without targeted assistance.

“Public schools educate about 80 percent of disadvantaged students but are not getting the funding they need to support these students.

“Events happening around the country this week for National Gonski Week highlight why we are calling on both the state and federal governments to fund the full six years of needs- based funding under Gonski agreements.

“Gonski funding enables schools to address student’s individual needs in the classroom. Our most disadvantaged kids will continue to miss out unless governments commit to deliver the funding for a fair, transparent funding model.

“We will be visiting schools across the state this week and listening to teachers, principals and communities on why their schools expect Gonski needs-based funding,” said
Ms Peace.