Gonski Gets Results

smiling_kids.jpgThere are thousands of Gonski success stories in schools and now 24 of them have been collected in a new report showing how Gonski funding is delivering tangible results and changing students’ lives.

The evidence in Getting Results: Gonski Funding in Australian Schools 2 report clearly demonstrates the success of Gonski – even though the bulk of the funding schools need is yet to be delivered.

The growing evidence in favour of Gonski is so strong that Malcolm Turnbull can only be ignoring it because he has no interest in supporting the schools with the highest numbers of students who need extra help.

Malcolm Turnbull has said he wants to do a deal on schools funding with the States at April’s COAG meeting with Premiers, yet there is still no concrete proposal on the table.

All we know is that he wants to end needs-based funding and fail to honour Gonski agreements which would see schools deprived of $3.8 billion in resources in 2018 and 2019 alone.

It is time Malcolm Turnbull listened to the evidence in this report, and to the views of State leaders, who have repeatedly said they will not support cuts to Gonski funding.

Getting Results is full of fantastic stories of how dedicated teachers and targeted resources can change a child’s life.

For example, Colac Primary School in regional Victoria has focused on lifting literacy through targeted interventions for Grade One students who are more than six months behind. Over 90 per cent of students who got support have experienced more than 12 months growth in the first year.

But the school is concerned about what will happen if Gonski funding is not extended past 2017, and how it will ensure that ALL its students get the support they need.

Principal Shelby Papadopoulos says: “We were coming from a position of never having had the financial ability to provide the level of support that our students require. It would be heartbreaking if, having had a sense of what can be achieved through our 2016 Gonski funding, we lost the possibility to make that same difference for all our students.”

It is a concern of many schools in the report that they will not be able to build on what they have achieved if Gonski funding is not extended beyond 2017.

Every school has its own story

Every school has a different story, because every school community is different. The challenges faced by a primary school in a small country town are very different from those in a major city.

Schools are able to invest their Gonski resources in a way which suits them. That could be speech pathology or literacy and numeracy programs for younger students, or

We are seeing improvements in literacy and numeracy, student engagement and Year 12 results, because schools are able to back the work of teachers with the right support.

These stories are being repeated in thousands of schools across Australia. That’s why it is so important to stop Malcolm Turnbull from scrapping Gonski.

The Gonski campaign will be stepping up in the coming months with national TV, radio and digital advertising along with a bus tour through marginal seats in SA, QLD, NSW and Victoria. The bus tour will finish in Canberra on March 22.

The I Give a Gonski campaign has set up a new map page featuring schools in the report – and many others. Check it out to see what schools have done. You can even send us a story from your school.

Here’s a few stories of success to remind you of the great things Gonski is doing.

Loganlea High School in Brisbane: Loganlea High School has used its Gonski funding to give more one-to-one support and mentoring to older students. As a result 100 per cent of Year 12s are achieving their Queensland Certificate of Education and a Vocational Education certificate – up from 68% a few years ago.

Principal Belinda Tregea says that:  “The issues faced by our students included poor rates of attendance, poverty and health issues as well as academic challenges. The ability for us to employ additional specialist staff to support our students has made a tangible difference.

Sanctuary Point Public School on the NSW south coast: is a low-SES school which has used its funding to lift attendance, increase its literacy and numeracy scores, through speech pathology and Multi Lit and to better engage parents with the school by hiring a support worker. They have also focused on professional development for staff to lift the quality of teaching at the school. Attendance rates are now at the state average, and student achievement has risen accordingly.

Principal Jeff Ward says: At Sanctuary Point the benefits of Gonski funding show that it is more than an investment in education. It is an investment in the community which will have long-term educational and social benefits.

Glenelg Primary School in South Australia: The school’s students come from a range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. They are benefiting from extra investment in literacy and numeracy programs and extra support for students. In Year 3, they have seen 84 per cent of students lift their achievement

Principal Rae Taggart says: This funding has supported every child’s learning, from those who are struggling to gifted students requiring extension.

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