Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Education Forum in Ballarat

Peter Garret ( Minister of Education Sebastopol College 23/04/13) introduced by Catherine King local MP and Minister.
National Plan for School Improvement
Peter discussed the origins of the Gonski review.
He discussed the diversity of our school system and noted the investment by the Federal Government in the National Curriculum, BER , National Standards, information about schooling via Naplan and My School , National Partnership investment and highlighted the money spent on Sebastopol College.
The Gonski Review into education found that we have a large proportion of children from low socio economic backgrounds who finish well behind other students. Higher achieving students aren't doing well and that we are stagnating. There was also a belief that the current funding model lacks transparency and Isn't working. Gonski proposed a new funding model.
Gonski recognises what children need to learn regardless of location, size of school and background and that funding for schools required the government to 'bolt on' the loading of disadvantage to funding per student. ( Socio-economic, aboriginality, location)
What will be the the purpose of this funding?- The National plan for school improvement includes recognising student need (early years and literacy ) more autonomy for school leaders and the community , consistent national data sets nationwide for all schools. The PM has guaranteed 14.5 billion dollars of Gonski funding. Today New South Wales has signed on to the NPSI today.IT is now very important that other states join in.
Peter believes that it can work regardless of the procrastination of some states and the negative approach of the opposition. He believes that we all have a 'school experience' but over time that view is being challenged by the massively changing nature of our geo-political world, We have been a big quarry to the world in the past ( selling commodities seldom value adding) but we need to become imaginative innovators if we are going to continue to enjoy our current state of living. Finally we need to know that every young person should not be left behind because of the level of funding to their schools. We need to 'lift those kids' so that they receive the opportunities that they are entitled too. Well educated children get good jobs and contribute to the welfare of the nation.
Loadings to funding have changed at the minister's suggestion.Disability loading has proved to be a huge issue and he believes the funding is generous. They are working on a national definition of disability. He believes it is a very exciting time in education an that this an historic moment. The Gonski reforms provide a Solid platform for 21st century learning.Without them this country will go backwards.

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