Federal Budget robs NSW public school students of proper support

Last night’s federal Budget confirms the Turnbull government intends to abandon genuine needs-based schools funding, Federation Acting President Joan Lemaire said today.

Under the six-year National Education Reform Agreement (NERA) signed between Commonwealth and NSW in 2013, all NSW public schools would have achieved the Schooling Resource Standard by 2019, but the Turnbull government’s plan to dishonour the Gonski agreement and spread less money over 10 years means schools might never meet the standard and will remain under-resourced.

Under the NERA agreement, over the next two years 80 per cent of extra funding from the Commonwealth government was due to go to public schools but now they’ll get less than 50 per cent — this is not needs-based funding and will only widen the inequity in resourcing between public and private schools.

Ms Lemaire said spreading the funding out over 10 years effectively means every student in Year 6 to Year 11 will not see the full benefits of the funding, which would have flowed in the next two years under the NERA agreement.

She said funding provided in the signed Gonski agreement would have vastly increased access to individualised learning programs and specialist staff, more literacy and numeracy support and additional teaching and learning resources.