Merrylands HS students (foreground left to right) Daniel Grech, Abdulai Bah and Mona Oueik work with teachers (background) Steve Wark and Arzu Karahingul to remediate missed work.

Initial funding providing promising start for pupils

Lila Mularczyk
Merrylands High School

Gonski funding has begun to afford some of the young people in our school access to their entitled quality education, albeit on a small and restricted scale at this point.

We have employed skilled personnel to work with students in need of school engagement.

We have strategically identified and developed a scaffold approach to skill development, confidence in learning and individual learning plans for students.

Already we are experiencing an increase in submission of class work for those students targeted and importantly, attendance rates for 2014 at this stage have risen by nearly 3 per cent.

Our strategic plans are for further support of those students in need. Yet our students, community and nation need the clarity and certainty of the full six years of Gonski funding.The Gonski funding model is a coherent methodology where all schools would benefit from stability and consistency with the same approach to resourcing. The reform is premised on investing in all schools to ensure that students are meeting expectations and are resourced to a minimum standard.

This can only occur with the full six years of Gonski funding. Two-thirds of Gonski funding was scheduled for 2018 and 2019 but the Federal Coalition has given no commitment to honouring the final two years of the six-year NSW agreement.

As committed educators, school and system leaders, parents and community members, we cannot abandon what is possible, what is for the short and long term public good of each of our students/children and the social capital of our communities. Our young people in need are all entitled to access quality education regardless of school, educational jurisdiction, state or territory.

Gonski education reform will enrich achievable and accessible aspirations. I see the change; I see the light of opportunity in my students’ faces, each with a life story that touches heart and mind.

Proud parents, family or carers resettling in this country speak of never imagining such a possibility for their children. Gonski makes this possible, Gonski makes it a reality!

I cannot rest and let current education policy exclude young people from these life changing opportunities again.

We are responsible for ensuring education in Australia is a priority and remains so.

How do we future-proof access to quality education for each of our current and future young people in schools in NSW and Australia? Gonski!