Talking school improvement with the Geelong community
- Minister for School Education
- Minister for Early Childhood and Youth
- Member for Corangamite
School Education Minister Peter Garrett and Member for Corangamite Darren Cheeseman today joined parents, teachers, and members of the community at a school funding forum organised by the Australian Education Union.
The forum, Gonski: Time for action, discussed the Gillard Government’s National Plan for School Improvement, which will see more money invested in our schools and linked to the things we know can lift student performance.
Mr Garrett said the Government will introduce the Australian Education Bill into Federal Parliament next week.
“The Bill confirms that the Gillard Government will move towards a new funding method for Australian schools, based on the core recommendations of the Gonski Review,” he said.
“This includes a benchmark amount for every student plus extra funding for schools and students that need it most. We’ll introduce further reforms based on the things we know work in our schools to lift results, like investing in quality teaching.
“We believe that a needs-based funding model is the right way for all schools to be funded so that we can take Australian schools into the top five in the world by 2025.”
Mr Garrett said improving our school education system was an investment for Australia’s future.
“A new analysis released this week by PwC found that if we improve our schools to the standard of schools in Finland, it could generate an extra $3.6 trillion for the economy over the lifetime of a student born today,” he said.
“Improving our schools will help young people in Geelong get a great education and secure the high skill, high wage jobs of the future, boost the local economy and give students a better chance of a happy and prosperous life.”
Mr Cheeseman said today’s forum was a chance for the local community to ask questions about the Government’s plan and have their say on what needs to happen to give local students the best start in life.
“Building a better school education system is a joint responsibility, which is why we are involving the community every step of the way,” he said.
“But for our plan to be implemented in Victoria we need the Baillieu Government to get on board and play their part, including investing their fair share of extra funding.
“Unfortunately what we’ve seen instead is a Government that doesn’t value education. They’ve shown that in their cuts to the VCAL program and to TAFE, among other cuts.
“Australia can’t afford to ignore the need for school improvement. Premier Baillieu and his Education Minister Martin Dixon need to stop playing politics with this issue and put the needs of Victorian families first by backing our plan for better schools.”