‘We don’t need a crusade, we need details’ says executive director in response to PM’s Gonski announcement
|Prime Minister Julia Gillard visiting Our Lady of the Rosary Primary, St Mary's following Gonski's recommendations in February this year|
In delivering the government’s official response to David Gonski’s recommendations following the Review of School Funding released in February, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced an ambitious plan to improve Australia’s standing in world education rankings and proposed a new school funding scheme at the National Press Club on 3 September 2012.
In responding to the announcement, Catholic Education’s executive director of schools in the Diocese of Parramatta, Greg Whitby, said the Prime Minister had ‘conflated a number of issues’ and failed to provide any detail as to how Catholic schools would be funded into the future.
‘After the great work of David Gonski in mapping a way forward, it was disappointing to be presented with no details regarding funding levels for schools,’ said Greg. ‘It is important that the issue of school funding is not clouded by empty rhetoric; the Prime Minister’s announcement, while emotive, was light on any real detail.’
‘We know the quality of schooling must be continually improved. In the Diocese of Parramatta, we are deeply committed to improving learning and teaching and have annually reviewed school implementation plans to respond to the changing needs of today’s learners - but this is not the issue at this time.’
The proposed funding scheme involves individual student ‘loadings’ under the Schooling Resource Standard to be phased in over the next six years commencing in 2014 and it is not yet known how this will impact on government support for Catholic school funding levels.
Government support plays a critical role in providing education to more than 46,000 students in Catholic schools from 30,000 families in the Diocese of Parramatta, which represents more than a quarter of school age children in this region.
For more information on the ‘Better Schools’ initiative, visit http://www.betterschools.gov.au/
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