Don’t mess with Gonski model, Education Minister warns leaders

by Robert Ballantyne01 Jul 2015

The NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, has expressed disappointment in Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten for failing to commit to the Gonski formula of school funding, telling them the funding model “works better than anything we've ever had in place in Australia."

Piccoli's comments follow last week’s release of the Federal Government Green Paper, which the unions slammed as proof that Tony Abbott wanted to remove funding from public schools.

"I'm very disappointed with Bill Shorten," Piccoli told 7.30.

"He was the education minister in the last year or so of the Gillard government when they were the strongest advocates for Gonski."

Piccoli warned the Abbott Government against tampering with the current funding model.

"What I'd say to the Federal Government is don't mess with the model. The model works, works better than anything we've ever had in place in Australia," Piccoli said.

"Gonksi certainly is not dead."

Research by the Australian Council for Educational Research this week revealed that school funding in its current state was “politically, financially and educationally unsustainable”.

Abandoning progress towards the level and distribution of funding recommended by the Gonski Report would be to preserve the status quo, which as the Gonski Report showed, operates at the expense of many of those students currently undertaking their schooling in the government school sector,” read the report by researchers, Lyndsay Connors and Jim McMorrow.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Australian Education Union (AEU) federal president, Correna Haythorpe, slammed the Government for neglecting students’ need for a “decent education” in the public sector.
 
“This analysis shows that the Abbott Government has no interest in properly funding schools so all students can receive a decent education,” Haythorpe said, adding that the Government must “deliver funding based on need, not political ideology”.

NSW remains the only state that has fully embraced the Gonski funding model.
 

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