School principals back Gonski funding

School principals say funding being received under the Gonski model is making a difference.

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The Turnbull government argues a new school funding agreement is needed post-2018 to replace Labor’s model of extra money for disadvantaged schools, which stemmed from a report by consultant David Gonski.

But the latest State of Our Schools survey found 95 per cent of schools that received over $200,000 in increased Gonski funding said it had made a positive difference.

Schools were spending the money on teacher training, student support staff, specialist literacy and numeracy teachers, individual support for students with learning difficulties and extra classroom teachers.

But 45 per cent of principals say their school is still either under-resourced or significantly under-resourced.

The figure was up to 65 per cent in Victoria, where Gonski funding was delayed until this year.

Australian Education Union federal president Correna Haythorpe, who commissioned the survey, said the Gonski model should continue.

“We need Malcolm Turnbull to match Labor’s commitment to funding Gonski in full and investing an extra $4.5 billion into our schools in 2018 and 2019, to allow schools to build on the success they are already starting to deliver,” she said.

School principals also reported that fundraising by parents was a mainstay of school budgets.

Sixty per cent reported fundraising was used for classroom equipment, 46 per cent for sports equipment or uniforms, 43 per cent for textbooks and 28 per cent for basic maintenance.

“These are things which should be provided to schools without the need for them to do their own fundraising,” Ms Haythorpe said.