Announcement fails to recognise student need

The NSW Teachers Federation today described the 2021 budget for public schools as disappointing, saying it failed to provide the additional funding necessary to support students and counter the impact of a global pandemic.

NSWTF President Angelo Gavrielatos, in response to today’s announcement on the Resource Allocation Model, said there was no money beyond what was already budgeted and the $10.1 billion total was $2 billion short of what is required to ensure NSW public schools meet a nationally established Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) in 2021.

“This is business as usual and that is not good enough from the NSW government or the Morrison government,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“This budget does not deliver the additional investment schools urgently need. Much of it will be eaten up with rising enrolments and costs and higher levels of student need.

“We are living in extraordinary times with a global pandemic and natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and drought all impacting on our students.

“This has interrupted the learning of students and contributed to the huge increase in mental health issues we are seeing in schools.

“Research just conducted by the Federation found that 98 per cent of teachers and principals say the number of children with mental health issues has increased in the last three years and only five per cent say the number of counsellors is adequate. Over 90 per cent say COVID-19 has led to an increase in the number of children at their school with mental health concerns.

“The Victorian Government yesterday announced a $250 million support package to fund additional support to students who have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic. The NSW Government should be providing similar assistance.

“The NSW Government says the mental health of students is its number one priority in education and yet there is not an additional dollar to help schools address it.”