Prime Minister visits Our Lady of the Rosary following Gonski review
|The PM and Minister Garrett visited the Year 3 learning space and participated in number busting with students |
|The PM was greeted by principal, Mark Geerligs and school captains Chloe Cortes and Peter Nichols|
Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited Our Lady of the Rosary Primary, St Marys on Tuesday 21 February, to speak with parents and teachers about school funding following the release of the Gonski report.
Accompanied by the Federal Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett MP and Federal Member for Lindsay, David Bradbury MP, the Prime Minister was greeted by principal Mark Geerligs and school captains, Chloe Cortes and Peter Nichols, and taken on a tour of the Years 3 and 4 learning spaces. The Vicar General Monsignor Robert McGuckin VG EV; director of strategic accountability services, John DeCourcy, and director of system performance, Paul Menday, also accompanied the Prime Minister on the tour.
The Prime Minister then sat down with parents and teachers over Shrove Tuesday pancakes to discuss the issue of school funding and recommendations from the Gonski review.
David Gonski AC, an eminent businessman who is also the Chancellor of the University of NSW and Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange, Coca-Cola Amatil and Investec Bank, chaired a panel of experts in undertaking a review school funding arrangements in Australia to assess and develop funding recommendations for schooling beyond 2013.
Some of the key findings and recommendations from the report released on Monday 20 February include:
- $5 billion investment in Australia's government and non-government schools
- Australia’s school system should be funded on a per student basis, rather than a per school basis. This would occur via new per student funding model: the schooling resource standard (SRS)
- Every child in Australia is entitled to an equal amount of base funding - $8000 for primary students and $10,500 for secondary students
- Imbalances in funding between federal and state governments should be redressed, giving the two levels of government equal responsibility for funding state, Catholic and independent schools
- Future funding arrangements and governance structures for schooling should aim for sustained improvements in the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students, as part of achieving better outcomes for all students
The Australian Government has commenced a consultation phase to discuss the findings with key education stakeholders before making a commitment to the 26 findings and 41 recommendations.
During the conversation with parents and teachers at Our Lady of the Rosary, the Prime Minister said that her focus was on improving learning outcomes of all students.
‘We will have conversations with school communities about funding but when we make our ultimate decision we will be driven by a number of principles and key to those principles is better results, continuous improvement and lifting quality,’ said Prime Minister Gillard.
‘We will be working with education stakeholders, schools, school communities, and State and Territories because the Gonski review looks at all students in all schools.’
Greg Whitby, executive director of schools in the Diocese of Parramatta said discussion about improving student learning outcomes needed to focus on improving teacher quality.
‘The Prime Minister is right on the money, saying school funding only goes so far,’ said Greg. ‘All schools need to focus on improving the learning outcomes of their students and the only way to achieve better learning is to work on improving teacher quality in all schools and all sectors.’
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has responded to the Gonski report saying that they strongly support calls for additional funding for all students, particularly disadvantaged students, and that they will be working with the Australian Government during the consultation phase.
More information via:www.schoolfunding.gov.au and www.fundinginfo.catholic.edu.au
|Parents and teachers shared Shrove Tuesday pancakes with the PM and discussed school funding|
|from left: Monsignor McGuckin VG EV; David Bradbury MP; Prime Minister Gillard; Mark Geerligs; Peter Garrett MP; John DeCourcy; Paul Menday and school captains Chloe and Peter |
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