The Turnbull Government has released a landmark report into Australia’s school system that outlines a clear plan to ensure every school student, including those in Bonner, has the opportunities they need to succeed.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta welcomed the Turnbull Government’s in-principle support for all recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools led by Mr David Gonski AC.

“Every student deserves a quality school education, and every student in every school in our community should be given every opportunity to succeed and to thrive,” Mr Vasta said.

“I know that local parents value their schools and the teachers who work hard in our classrooms to teach and help prepare their children for whatever challenges the future holds.

“Parents also want to know how our record amount of school funding will improve our students’ educational outcomes.

“This is a challenge the Turnbull Government is committed to tackling. This review is an opportunity for all levels of government, educators, and families to turn around Australia’s performance and build a stronger school system.”

Head of Secondary at Citipointe Christian College, Mrs Helen Moore, welcomed the review.

“For years we have noted a drop in overall standards of literacy in particular, especially in the lack of sophistication of style and breadth of student writing. We were concerned enough eight years ago to begin addressing this specific area in our College,” Mrs Moore said.

“The recommendations in the Gonski report are wide and general so the impact on schools remains to be seen when further details of actions are published.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Review provides a national blueprint for every government, every teacher, and every family to help tackle declining school performance in Australia.

“There’s no doubt Australia has some of the world’s best teachers and school leaders, and they work hard to help students achieve outcomes that are the envy of many other countries,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“But it is clear that while school funding has been growing year after year and is now, for the first time, truly needs-based – and will continue to grow under the Turnbull Government to new record levels over the next ten years – student outcomes aren’t keeping pace.

“This Review was about how to put our record and growing needs-based funding to best use to improve school performance and student outcomes.

“Australia must focus on creating an education system that gives each student the opportunity to excel and to be their individual best.”

The report is available at: Through Growth to Achievement: the Review to Achieve Education Excellence in Australian Schools

The report identifies 23 recommendations under five themes:

• Laying the foundations of learning before the school years and in the home environment;

• Equipping every student to grow and succeed with the knowledge they need and a focus on growing each individuals’ skills;

• Creating, support and valuing a profession of expert educators including building on the Government’s reforms to date in teacher education;

• Empowering and supporting school leaders with experience and autonomy;

• Lifting aspirations with quality assurance, data and evidence-based research. 

The Government will now work with states and territories and non-government school systems to determine how the reforms set out in the Review should be delivered. A new reform agreement between the Commonwealth and jurisdictions will be negotiated this year to come into effect from 2019.

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Government and Independent schools in Bonner are each set to receive a boost in funding by 2021 under the Turnbull Government’s student-centred Gonski funding plan that recently passed Parliament.

Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said the new funding was part of a $7.78 billion funding boost for Bonner government and Independent schools over the next decade, which will see a $234 average increase next year for every student and around $361 on average extra for each student each year by 2021.

Catholic schools in Queensland will get an additional $2.84b under the plan over the next decade that their education authorities will distribute to their schools.

“We’re delivering a school system that’s entirely focused on students and what they need to be their best,” Mr Vasta said.

“We’re delivering a new funding system that ensures every student gets the resources they need, no matter their background or where they live. We’re tying that extra funding to the activities that are proven to improve the quality of our schools. That means more resources for one-on-one time with teachers and new or existing initiatives such as specialist teachers or targeted intervention programs.”

“We’ve appointed an independent National School Resourcing Board to ensure the funding model is focussed on supporting students and holding governments to account for the money they receive and spend.”

“Our additional funding will start to flow next year, giving schools and communities the certainty they need to plan and ensure that every student gets the support they need to succeed.”

“Schools and students that need the most additional resources will get the biggest funding increases in the fastest time period so that everyone will get their fair share of funding from the Commonwealth.”

“Along with support from Gonski Review panellists Ken Boston, Kathryn Greiner and David Gonski himself, the Government’s plan has been backed by independent think tanks including The Grattan Institute and The Mitchell Institute, as well as schools, families and educators such as former head of the Australian Education Union Dianne Foggo.”

“Our focus now is building on our teaching quality reforms through the work of a panel of education experts focused entirely on how schools should be using the extra funding we’re delivering.”

Further details on the Turnbull Government’s Quality Schools reform package are available at www.education.gov.au/qualityschools

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