Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced new school funding arrangments in response to the Gonski report.
The funding changes will start in 2014, after the next election. Major changes will be phased in over the years to 2020.
Gillard announced the changes in an address to the National Press Club in Canberra.
- Listen to Gillard’s National Press Club Address
Text of email from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Labor members and supporters.
Today, in response to the Gonski review into school funding, I’m announcing major improvements to the way we fund schools to make sure that every child has access to a world class education.
As you’ve no doubt heard me say before, I believe in the power of education to change lives. It changed mine. Because my parents were passionate about education, they wanted their daughter to enjoy all its benefits.
So as a young girl, I was painstakingly taught to read by my mother before I went to school. As luck would have it, the public schools I was zoned to attend were great schools.
I liked school and succeeded at it, but even in great schools like Unley High, I was conscious of the kids who struggled and got left behind.
That’s why it’s so important for me to make sure every child has the opportunity to get the education they deserve, regardless of where they live or what their family background is.
Currently the gap in reading, maths and science between disadvantaged and advantaged students is more than two years of schooling. That’s not good enough.
That’s why there’ll be extra money for the schools and students who need it most: students from lower income families, indigenous students, students with a disability, those with limited English skills and kids in regional and remote areas.
- Giving new teachers more time to plan their classes and mentoring with more experienced teachers
- Setting a benchmark funding amount for each student, based on the costs in schools which are already achieving great results
- Introducing higher entry requirements for teaching
- Giving teachers annual performance reviews and giving feedback on how they can improve
- Giving school principals more power to run their schools the way they want, including hiring staff and controlling their budgets
These are just some of the changes we need to build an education system that gives every child every opportunity. By 2025, I want Australia to be in the top five countries for reading, science and maths.
However, to make this a reality we’re going to need co-operation from the State Governments – and we know that Tony Abbott doesn’t support these reforms. It won’t be easy to get this over the line, and over the coming weeks and months we’re going to have fight hard together to make this happen.
Your voice is important. Please let your friends and family know about how we want to improve our schools so that they can speak up too, because this is a fight we can’t afford to lose. We owe it to every Australian child to make sure our schools don’t leave anyone behind anymore.