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School funding reform enters next phase

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Minister for School Education Peter Garrett

School funding reform enters next phase

Thursday 29 March 2012

The next steps in school funding reform are underway with state and territory governments, non-government school sectors and school education unions given access to the detailed modelling tool used by the Gonski Review of School Funding.

School Education Minister Peter Garrett said the education community will now be able to test the model developed by the review panel, the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), using more extensive and up-to-date data than was available to the review panel.

The Gonski Review recommended a new school funding system which would include a set amount per student, based on the costs of high-performing schools, as well as additional funding to address disadvantage, with loadings for low SES

schools, Indigenous students, students with disability, students with limited English proficiency, and small and remote schools.

Mr Garrett said sharing the modelling tool used by the review panel in developing its recommendations will allow school authorities to trial how an SRS could work in practice for schools and school systems. Representatives from state governments, non-government schools and unions will also be given separate technical briefings of the Gonski modelling over the next few days.

“As Mr Gonski and the review panel made clear, there is still a lot of work to do to test and refine the various elements of their proposed funding model. This includes testing the proposed funding amount per student, and examining whether the loadings for disadvantage are set at the right levels,” he said.

“We are asking everyone involved in school funding to carry out these tests and come back and share the results with the various working groups we’ve established, as well as the Ministerial Reference Group.

“This will allow us to see where the SRS model might need refining and tweaking, how it might impact on schools and systems, and also gain a better understanding of any financial implications.”

Mr Garrett also chaired the first meeting of the Ministerial Schools Funding Reference Group today. Review Panel chair David Gonski also addressed the meeting.

“The Ministerial Reference Group will provide a forum for all school systems and stakeholders, including principals and parents, to examine the recommendations of the funding review, share information and commission new work. Today’s meeting was a constructive and valuable start to that process,” he said.

“Next week all State and Territory Education Ministers will meet in Sydney specifically to discuss the Gonski Review, share their views and discuss the next steps.

“As the Gonski Report confirmed, we need to do more to lift student performance in Australia and close the gap between disadvantaged students and more well-off students. Our future prosperity as a nation depends on us having world-class schools. Australia can’t afford not to act.”

More information about the school funding review is at

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