Learning about Melbourne this year?
DECKSTAR’S D AYS OUT !
Schools immediately need additional resources in order to lift performance
by the federal government. The Australian Education Union (AEU) for example, has always contended that public schools deserve greater funding, and sought to reduce independent school support. In response to an AEU report analysing the impact of the 2012 Budget, Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos concluded that, “Nothing could illustrate the inequity in the current arrangements better than these budget projections which show public school funding being slashed at the same time as private school funding is soaring” (AEU, May 2012). The announcement of the details of the National Plan for School Improvement prompted the AEU to urge state and territory leaders to, “put the interests of children first and commit to additional funding for education in line with the recommendations of the Gonski Review” (AEU September 2012). While supporting the bulk of the Gonski recommendations, Gavrielatos expressed disappointment at the government’s six-year implementation timeline, suggesting that schools immediately need additional resources in order to lift performance. The AEU’s perspective on events was corroborated by the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO). In ACSSO’s media release responding to the National Plan for School Improvement, President Peter Garrigan also welcomed the prospect of ending current funding arrangements, while suggesting that, “we would have preferred to see a much shorter transition period” (2012). Like the AEU, ACSSO also highlighted the urgency of building an education funding system that is based on need. The Independent Education Union (IEU), while also appearing for the prosecution, declared that, “The six years implementation timeline proposed within the Gonski parameters is probably what’s needed.” (2012) The IEU’s view is that any changes to funding methodology need to thoroughly trialled and tested, “to ensure the model for the school resource standard, loadings and the annual indexation have integrity for Catholic and independent schools.” The jury may, however, be somewhat surprised to hear that both the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) and Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) disagreed somewhat with the IEU’s assessment of the timeline, instead agreeing with the AEU assessment. For both these organisations, funding certainty was identified as a fundamental issue, with the NCEC registering disappointment with the lack of detail provided in the Government’s plan, and ISCA Executive Director Bill Daniels asserting that, “Whilst acknowledging the need for a phase-in period, the critical short-
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Education Today – Term 4 2012