Teachers see funding making a difference

Ian Watson
Country Organiser

Amanda Leach (Port Macquarie HS) talks with local MP Leslie Williams.

Teachers can see the benefit Gonski funding is having on students’ learning, Port Macquarie Teachers Association’s June meeting heard.

Teachers gave accounts of how additional loadings to support low socio-economic status and Indigenous students were benefiting learning. Increased support for new teachers and mentors, as well as the $17 million increase to schools’ professional learning budgets via Gonski funding was also praised by teachers.

State Nationals MP Leslie Williams was there to hear the reports, having been invited by the Association to commend her and her government for signing up for Gonski. (Last year the Association rallied outside her electorate office calling on her government to sign up to the funding arrangements.)

Association President Mark Thurston said: “We were obviously disappointed last year before the State Government committed to Gonski, but credit where credit is due. At this stage the State Government is saying and doing all the right things in relation to Gonski so we thought it was important to acknowledge that.”

During the meeting Mrs Williams reaffirmed her continued support of the full six years of the Gonski funding arrangement.

“Members were heartened by Mrs Williams undertaking to speak with her National Party counterpart, local Federal MP David Gillespie, about the need for the Federal Government to fund the full six years of the Gonski agreement,” Mr Thurston said.

“She even offered to take a piece of the Gonski cake we shared to celebrate the benefits for public schools.”

Mr Thurston said the next step for the Association was to meet with Mr Gillespie to urge him and the Federal Government to deliver the full six years of Gonski funding for students.

At the recent NSW Nationals conference, party members voted to call upon the Federal Government to honour the six year Gonski funding deal.