Students’ learning conditions and teachers’ working conditions are inextricably linked.
As Gonski funding provides more resources to improve student outcomes, teachers also benefit. For example, we know that in order to meet the individual needs of students, schools are using Gonski dollars to provide more teachers with professional development opportunities.
Also, engagement programs for students at risk of dropping out of school have resulted in improved student behaviour, and more individualised support for students in integrated classrooms and employing additional teachers to reduced class sizes also benefit the classroom teacher. Schools receiving additional funds are also able to provide greater support for beginning teachers.
The ability to sustain such improvements, and gain further improvements to working conditions, depends on gaining the increased recurrent funding of the Gonski model.
Right now there is a six-year NSW Gonski agreement but the funding is at risk: the Turnbull Government plans to cease funding in 2018 and 2019, equating to a $1.3 billion funding cut for NSW.
We should also remember that funding levels achieved in the NSW Gonski agreement, signed in April 2013, stopped the State Government’s $1 billion cut to public schools, announced in 2012.
The Gonski funding model has achieved significant funding reform and set a higher benchmark for recurrent funding in the future. It is definitely worth fighting for.
Please contact your federal MP to seek support for the full implementation of the six-year Gonski agreement. Also urge friends and family to participate in the I Give a Gonski campaign.