Resources running out, principals warn

by Brett Henebery10 Feb 2016

A survey released yesterday shows that the majority of principals in Victoria’s state school system are facing a severe shortage of resources that is having a serious impact on the students who need them most.

The annual State of Our Schools survey showed that more than 70% of school funding was not targeting disadvantaged students, such as Indigenous students and those with reading and writing disabilities.

To address this issue, more than 60% of principals said more funding towards literacy and numeracy programs was needed.

The report comes as the Australian Education Union (AEU) locks horns with the Turnbull Government, launching a TV ad campaign criticising school funding shortfalls.

AEU Victorian branch president, Meredith Peace, told The Educator that the Turnbull Government “broke its promise” by walking away from funding the final two years of the Gonski needs-based education agreement.

“The previous Napthine Government failed to pass on the promised Gonski funding to Victorian schools in 2014 and 2015,” she said.

“Victorian public schools have received Gonski needs-based funding for the first time in 2016 from the Andrews Government, but without funding certainty beyond 2018, Victorian students will continue to miss out on the programs and support they need and deserve.”

Peace said the most alarming data that came out of the State of Our Schools survey was that over 72% of schools indicated they did not have sufficient and appropriate resources to ensure quality program delivery in their school.

Almost 84% of schools indicated that school-raised funds were important or very important for the running of their school. Over 70% of schools disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that funding ‘adequately addressed’ the levels of disadvantage at their school.

“These statistics clearly show that schools know what additional programs and support they need to provide but lack the resources needed to provide them for students,” she said.

Peace said the Gonski needs-based school funding model provided “a structured, proven and fair system” of funding for schools which had been researched and recommended by experts.

“We need the Turnbull Government to commit to the full Gonski or our kids will continue to miss out,” she said.
 

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