Thursday, 31 March 2016
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to end Federal Government funding of public schools would entrench inequity and end needs-based Gonski funding in Australian schools.
Prime Minister Turnbull suggested on radio this morning that one option being discussed as part of his plans to change income tax arrangements was for State governments to take full responsibility for funding public schools, while the Federal Government took responsibility for private schools.
AEU Deputy Federal President Maurie Mulheron said the plan, which will be discussed at tomorrow’s COAG meeting, would be a disaster – and was an attempt by Mr Turnbull to dodge responsibility for funding schools.
"Locking in a system where State governments have full responsibility for public schools and the Federal Government for private schools is locking in inequity and would be the end of needs-based Gonski funding," Mr Mulheron said.
"Schools don’t care whether their funding comes from the State or Federal Government – they just care about whether they have the funds to meet the needs of their students."
The key recommendation of the Gonski Review was that the Federal Government needed to work with the States and take the bulk of responsibility for ensuring disadvantaged schools got the funding they needed.
This meant two-thirds of the extra revenue schools need was to come from the Federal Government and one-third from the States, recognising that the Federal Government had greater access to funding than the cash-strapped States.
"Mr Turnbull’s plan goes against the principles of the Gonski model and its goal of giving every student the chance of a quality education regardless of where they go to school," says Mr Mulheron.
"We need Mr Turnbull to fund the full six years of Gonski reforms which fund all schools on the basis of need, not whether they are public or private. He needs to match Labor’s commitment to invest an extra $4.5 billion in schools in 2018 and 2019.
"Malcolm Turnbull’s real agenda is becoming clear. His income-tax plan is simply a way for the Federal Government to abandon its responsibilities to public schools and hospitals.
"State governments must reject this plan and demand that the Federal Government continue to fund all schools on the basis of need.
"We are already seeing Gonski funding making a positive difference to student results. We need the full six years of the Gonski agreements to ensure that all schools get the resources they need to educate all of their students."
Research confirms that prior to the Gonski reforms, Australia's funding system was not based on need and saw the biggest increases in funding go to private schools.
"Gonski funding aims to resolve this mess by ensuring that both levels of government take their share of responsibility for funding the schools which educate disadvantaged students," Mr Mulheron.
"Mr Turnbull wants to turn his back on this and go back to an inefficient, divisive and inequitable system which will see thousands of students left behind."
The Federal Government’s own Green Paper on Reform of the Federation warned against Turnbull's proposal, reporting that:
This option could ... lead to very different funding models being applied across the States and Territories and between the government and non-government sectors, leading to differences in the level of public funding for schools with similar population characteristics. This is likely to give rise to concerns about fairness, as well as introduce perverse incentives for governments to shift costs within the system.
The AEU says Turnbull’s plan would disadvantage students in States, which had less capacity to raise their own income tax.
"If Malcolm Turnbull fails to fund Gonski in full, he is failing our kids,” Mr Mulheron said.
"We know that one in seven 15-year-olds struggles to read properly, and one in five struggles with basic maths. We also know that disadvantaged students are five times more likely to be poor performers than students from wealthy backgrounds.
"It is not in our long-term social or economic interest to let these children leave school without the skills to get a job or lead a successful life.
"Gonski funding delivers extra funding to all schools, but delivers the biggest increases to schools which educate disadvantaged students."
Private training providers are muscling in on high school students, receiving millions of dollars earmarked for public education
Tuesday, 29 March 2016
Today the Royal Commission into Family Violence tabled its report in Parliament.
The report is the result of evidence given by hundreds of witnesses over the past 13 months from across the Victorian community and government – including our Department.
This is a historic moment in our state; one which many people should be able to look back on as a turning point in our state’s refusal to tolerate this deeply damaging social problem.
For anyone who remembers the seemingly impossible aspiration to change smoking rates in the population, we have the same long-term agenda ahead of us to eradicate family violence. And we will need to stick at it.
The report makes 227 recommendations. The Victorian Government has committed to accepting all of the report’s recommendations in full.
You can read the report online, see: Report and Recommendations - Royal Commission into Family Violence
Each one of us has a responsibility to help prevent family violence. Given the significant role of our trusted service platforms such as schools, early childhood services, Maternal Child Health services and TAFEs, we will play a leading role in helping to achieve the recommendations of the Commission.
The recommendation to mandate the introduction of respectful relationships education into every government school in Victoria from prep to year 12 is fundamental to changing attitudes and beliefs over a generation. It is an opportunity for our next young leaders to see gender equality, respect and resolutions other than violence as the norm.
The Royal Commission’s recommendations will shape the work of our Department and services in the years to come. I encourage you to talk with your colleagues about the ways in which this report and its recommendations can enhance the work you do.
Monday, 28 March 2016
The commonwealth has told the states it will not make an immediate offer on schools funding or match Labor’s promise to spend $4.5bn funding the final two years of the Gonski education plan in 2018 and 2019.
The decision opens the way for a fierce Labor attack during the imminent federal election campaign, but it is understood the commonwealth believes there is time to negotiate longer term changes to schools funding after the election.
Apparently they'll look at it after the election....yeah, right!
Bring on this election! We need some certainty.( But not the lies of the last election)