Statement on Gonski funding and Teachers Unions concerns

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Media statement from Keith Pitt MP provided to the NewsMail on June 22, 2016 in response to questions about Gonski funding and concerns of the Teachers Union:

1 “The Coalition will not fund the full Gonski recommendations after 2017. The Teachers Unions claim that in 2018/19 alone that represents a $20m cut to schools funding for the Hinkler electorate.”

“The Prime Minister and state ministers agreed that discussions on new school funding arrangements should be concluded by early 2017, so the Teachers Union’s claims are just rubbish.

“There are no cuts to funding – the Coalition’s funding to schools will continue to increase from its current record levels.

“Between 2014 and 2017 the Coalition is delivering $426.2 million for Hinkler schools, so there is no reason schools won’t be able to continue to support teachers and existing initiatives, such as specialist teachers or additional resources. 

“David Gonski said just last month “needs-based funding is what I pushed for, and we have that”.

“And while funding is important, it’s what you do with that funding that matters. Australia’s international rankings for reading, literacy, maths and science have fallen between eight and 10 places.”

 2 Performance-based pay model for teachers. “There are strings attached to states who want to access future Federal funding, that states will have to enforce performance-based pay models. Studies have shown this model doesn’t work.”

“The Coalition’s schools reforms include linking teacher pay progression to the nationally agreed ‘Australian Professional Standards for Teachers’, not “performance pay”.

“Our reforms would ensure teachers are rewarded by demonstrating their teaching ability and effectiveness against these standards.

“This isn’t about paying teachers based on test results, it’s about paying those teachers who have demonstrated themselves to be our most capable teachers, to be able to lead in their school environment and mentor other teachers in that school environment.”

 3 A commitment from the Coalition that they want to increase the spread of standardised testing. “They want a Naplan-style test for every student, very year of their education. School communities are upset because it becomes about ranking and rating students, which is limited in use.”

“The Coalition is not proposing a formal test for Year 1 students. Our reforms would look to introduce an individual assessment of Year 1 students’ reading, phonics and numeracy skills to ensure the earliest possible intervention for students who need additional help.”

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