STATE, independent and Catholic schools have united in their call for more cash to be funnelled into the education system after the release of a major schools review.
Nanjing Night Net

The federal government issued the long-awaited Gonski report yesterday, which recommended that a base dollar amount for every student is applied for national education funding.

The comprehensive report, compiled and written by businessman David Gonski, has found the current school funding arrangements are complex, confusing and lack specific objectives.

Warrnambool College principal Mary Pendergast said she was keen to see funding targeted towards educationally disadvantaged students.

She said more than 60 per cent of under-achieving students attended government schools although believed cash should be directed at under-performing children in Catholic and independent institutions as well.

“The funding system we have at present is very complex and much of the data out there in the public domain doesn’t truly reflect what each student receives in dollar terms,” Ms Pendergast said.

“For instance, it’s been suggested that the average government student receives between $10,000 and $11,000 in funding, when in fact administrative, departmental and other costs mean the student is receiving roughly $7000 at a classroom level.”

Emmanuel College principal Philip Morison said he applauded the direction of the review and claimed education funding was an area that needed attention.

He said increased funding should be directed at disadvantaged students regardless of which school they attended.

The Hamilton and Alexandra College principal Bruce Simons said increasing funding for disadvantaged students had broad support within the community.

He said a push by the AEU and associated groups to subtract funding from independent and Catholic schools in favour of the state sector amounted to old-fashioned class warfare.

“This shouldn’t be a debate over taking cash from one sector and directing it into another,” Mr Simons said.

“It should be about improving education standards nationally.”

The Gonski report is the first of its kind in three decades and has sought to address any disadvantages and find a sustainable funding model for Australian schools for beyond 2013.

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