NSW has always led the way on Gonski funding and its schools will receive another $219 million in Gonski funding in 2017, the Baird Government has announced.
This will allow schools to build on what Gonski is already achieving, through smaller classes, more one-to-one support and extra programs for kids who need them.
But schools won’t have certainty beyond next year, with Malcolm Turnbull wanting to scrap Gonski funding, a move that would cost NSW schools $1.4 billion in 2018 and 2019 alone.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said needs-based funding had helped schools and students facing the greatest challenge to lift their results.
“There is absolutely no doubt that needs-based funding, made possible by Gonski, has been of enormous benefit to students right across NSW,” Mr Baird said.
“The extra support students are receiving is showing real results. Funding now follows students and their needs and principals have the flexibility to make decisions based on the specific needs of their students.”
The NSW Government has already committed to funding its share of the full six years of Gonski and Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has promised to fight any attempts from the Federal Government to cut funding to NSW schools.
How much will your school get?
Because the funding is based on student need, the 2017 amounts vary, but all schools are receiving more per student than they did in 2016.
To find out how much your school will receive click here.
This funding is on top of the usual increases for indexation and for rising enrolment. It is new money for new programs and schools can decide how best to spend it.
Mr Piccoli used the example of Hurstville South Public School in Sydney which had used its funding to employ extra staff to provide targeted teaching of literacy and numeracy for students who needed extra support.
“At Hurstville South in 2016, 58 per cent of Year 5 students were achieving results that put them in the top two bands of NAPLAN for reading and numeracy combined, up from 39 per cent in 2012,” Mr Piccoli said.
This is just one of the hundreds of NSW schools delivering better results with extra resources.
Here’s a couple of other examples:
Barrack Heights Public School in Shoalhaven, NSW, has used Gonski funding set up two special classes for children with learning difficulties. These have allowed students to get individual support and early intervention, and have seen many students able to return to mainstream classes.
Merrylands Public School in Sydney has lifted its HSC results and doubled the number of students receiving university offers in three years thanks to targeted literacy and numeracy programs and one-to-one support for students in upper years.
States need to fight for full six years
Gonski funding has been making a difference in NSW, and will be crucial in ensuring all students have access to opportunity. But we know that NSW public schools still fall well below the Schooling Resource Standard, receiving just over 80% of the funding the Gonski Review found they needed.
That means that thousands of disadvantaged students won’t get access to programs which could help them unless we get the full Gonski.
For students who are waiting for literacy and numeracy support or assistance with a disability and for schools struggling with tight budgets that can’t support every student that needs it, this money is essential.
If you want NSW Premier Mike Baird to keep putting students first and backing Gonski then sign the petition today and let state governments know they must stand up for our kids.