Education International
Education International

Australia: Campaign for new education funding model

published 6 July 2012 updated 29 July 2012

The Australian Education Union (AEU) has launched a campaign, I give a Gonski, to encourage the Government to legislate for a new funding model based on the findings of the Gonski Review of Federal Schools funding.

The Gonski Review is the most comprehensive review of schools’ funding in almost 40 years, aimed at ensuring every child has the same chance to receive a high quality education. It was commissioned by the Federal Government and conducted by an expert panel headed by senior businessman David Gonski. The final report was released in February 2012.

Key findings of the review included:

  • Australia is investing far too little in schools and the way money is distributed is not efficient, effective or fair;
  • There are growing gaps in student achievement: Students in disadvantaged areas are up to three years behind those of the same age who live in wealthy areas. One in seven 15-year-old students does not have basic reading skills;

Recommendations included:

  • A major increase in, and improved distribution of, funding to schools to better meet student needs. Public schools should get the greatest increases in funding for additional staff, learning programmes and upgraded facilities.
  • The average increase would be almost $1,500 a student per year. That is enough for seven extra teachers in a public school with 500 students;
  • A greater funding commitment to public schools from the federal government: currently it only provides 15 per cent of the money that public schools receive.

The AEU has obtained widespread support for action on Gonski from educators, parents, business leaders, community groups and welfare agencies. AEU has also mounted an intensive lobbying campaign, targeting MPs in key electorates across the nation.

Broken funding system

“The Gonski Review makes it clear too many children are being denied the resources and opportunities they need due to the broken funding system,” stated AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos. “There is an urgent need to invest in education - particularly in public schools and to improve the way the funding is distributed to better meet the needs of students.”

Click here now to show your support to the AEU campaign I Give a Gonski