Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A big NO to Birmingham

The states have only received 20% of the Gonski funding that Abbott promised and Birmingham and Turnbull are hell bent on making sure we don't get any more. It has been proven that it makes a difference in schools ( it has in mine) when only a fraction of it is made available. Birmingham is 'embarrassed' by recent Pisa data but instead of saying we must redouble our efforts to invest in education he prefers to say that money in education hasn't been well spent ( I'd say a lot of it has been misspent on private schools that don't need it!) and that teachers are at fault....in state schools of course. Last week while I was away on camp the state ministers met with him and rejected his 'plan' to scrap Gonski and replace it with something else.
Below is the story from the Daily Telegraph:

Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones said the Turnbull Government gave its first indication of looking to cut funding for kindergarten at today’s Council of Australian Government’s meeting in Melbourne.

The Abbott Government locked in funding for the hours until the end of 2017 in the 2015 budget after an outcry from the states, parents and service providers.

But no funding has yet been announced beyond that time.

“Simon Birmingham let the cat out of the bag when it comes to kindy funding,” Ms Jones said after the meeting.

Education funding was the main topic of conversation at today’s COAG but no major agreements were reached.

Federal minister Simon Birmingham had the final 2016 NAPLAN results and a pair of international reports on how Australians students fare in maths and science — not so well — to bolster his case that it’s not about how much money but where you spend it that matters.

A new deal is expected to be finalised with state and territory leaders at their next COAG meeting, likely in April next year.

Ahead of the meeting today, Senator Birmingham revealed universities will be forced to

declare their entry requirements in a new website from 2018.

The website, which will allow students to compare admission requirements, is the centrepiece of a raft of new measures to make the tertiary sector more transparent.

“These reforms are about clearing away the fog and doublespeak that has clouded higher education admissions processes so prospective students can make well informed decisions about if and what they want to study,” Senator Birmingham said on Friday.

“We’ve heard too many stories about students who have changed courses, dropped out because they made the wrong choices about what to study, students who didn’t realise there were other entry pathways or who started a course with next to no idea of what they were signing themselves up for.”

Universities and other tertiary institutes will now have to use a common language on admissions processes and requirements.

Tertiary admissions centres will also reportedly have to make it easier for students to apply for universities in other states.

At the COAG meeting today, Senator Birmingham wants states to agree to conditions including testing of Year 1 students, minimum school leaver standards, and better teacher training in exchange for commonwealth money.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli will keep pushing the commonwealth to fully fund the six-year Gonski agreement he struck with the previous Labor Federal Government.

He says the Commonwealth’s proposals largely mirror what NSW is already doing and he’ll lobby other states to introduce minimum entry standards for people who want to be teachers.

Northern Territory minister Eva Lawler highlighted the importance of all jurisdictions having a say on how the new funding arrangements are implemented.

“The Territory education context is very different to that of Melbourne and Sydney and we need the flexibility to ensure reforms are implemented in a way that will achieve success for our students,” she said, highlighting the large proportion of very disadvantaged schools and students in the NT.

Ministers will also discuss university entry schemes and child care at the meeting.

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