Action not just words needed for Indigenous students

The Prime Minister’s sentiments that Indigenous children should be given every opportunity to get the most out of their education are admirable but need to be accompanied by action, Federation President Maurie Mulheron said today.

“He needs to support full implementation of the Gonski model at the COAG meeting in April,” Mr Mulheron said.

At present, the Turnbull government does not intend to fund the Gonski needs-based schools funding model beyond the end of this year — two years short of the six year program (worth $3.8 billion in extra resources in 2018 and 2019). The consequence will be many schools will never reach the minimum Schooling Resource Standard that the Gonski Review recommended.

The Gonski model includes a loading for Indigenous students, to help address the Indigenous education gap. There have been many reports of the Gonski funding model having a positive impact on Indigenous education outcomes.

Malcolm Turnbull made his comment at an Indigenous business reception at Parliament House on Monday night, ahead of him delivering the 9th Closing the Gap update to Parliament later today.