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Labor lacks discipline in education reform

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As students headed back to school, Federal Labor’s education announcement grabbed headlines. But, they don’t have the fiscal discipline to deliver such grandiose promises. Bill Shorten was Minister for Education under Kevin Rudd. Back then the only place they put the full Gonski funding package was in a press release and I don’t think anything has changed.

Good education is the best tool we have to help the next generation overcome disadvantage. Funding the fifth and sixth year of Gonski is important. That’s why NSW has committed its share, an extra $1.3 billion of Gonski funding, in years five and six. We budgeted for it and have the fiscal discipline to deliver for our students.

The federal government will have some tough funding decisions to make. Any increases require careful consideration and an increase in one area often comes at the expense of another.

The NSW Government will welcome any decision to fund – and deliver – further money for Gonski from the Federal Nationals & Liberals and I am optimistic there is more to come. We’ll continue to be sensible with our allocations and accountable for our actions. 

To get a better idea what we’re doing this year here are a few videos:

Quality teaching (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkSYoDPjmNM)

Supporting school leaders (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD8OnXuEGLA)

Gonski funding (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N_CvXDJdoU)

Student wellbeing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KzW_Mt_T-U)

We are seeing some tremendous results in regional NSW. Wagga Wagga’s Mount Austin High School has seen attendance rates for Aboriginal students climb from 76 per cent to 81 per cent in one year after introducing the Gonski-funded Clontarf Academy program to improve student engagement.

Hillvue Public School in Tamworth has shown some truly remarkable improvement in NAPLAN results. Year 3 students receiving the top three bands for reading has almost doubled. For writing, the number of Year 3 students performing in the top three bands has increased from 9 to 60 per cent.

Last week I visited Singleton Heights Public School. The principal and teachers are doing fantastic things to improve teaching quality and the school is in the top 20 schools for high value-add (which is a fantastic result and means student’s learning growth is higher than similar schools). 

Every time I visit a NSW school I meet students who have individually benefited from Gonski funding. We are on the right track. But, we are striving for state wide improvements to student results, and to get there, more needs to be done.

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