Bill's Media Releases

SCHOOL FUNDING REFORMS VITAL IN MELBOURNE’S WEST

Schools and students in Maribyrnong are set to benefit from the Gillard Government’s new school funding model with around $4 billion extra to be made available to all Victorian schools.

The Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, said today that the new funding reforms, to be discussed on Friday with State and Territory leaders, would be vital for schools in Melbourne’s west.

“With properly resourced classrooms, extra training for teachers and focused programs for students on offer, this plan aims to take Australian schools into the top five in the world by 2025,” Mr Shorten said.

“The National Plan for School Improvement will establish a new, fairer school funding approach, based on the needs of individual students, and will be directly linked to reforms that we know will improve school performance.

“To achieve this, the Prime Minister has committed that for every extra dollar that the Victorian Government is prepared to invest, the Federal Government will pay two.

“This will bring all schools onto a consistent funding basis and make sure every school gets the money it needs to do a great job.”

Mr Shorten urged the Victorian Government to sign up to the National Plan for School Improvement and put the future education of students first.

The new funding model includes a per student amount of $9,271 for primary students and $12,193 for secondary students and is based on the costs of delivering education in schools that are achieving great results.

Extra money, called ‘loadings’, will also be included for schools with students from low SES backgrounds, Indigenous students, students with disability, students with limited English skills, and small and remote schools.

There will also be extra funding for the Catholic and independent sectors, with an extra $1.4 billion for Catholic schools and $1 billion for independent schools across the country.

“We know that the current model simply is not working for many of our kids,” Mr Shorten said.

“In my electorate of Maribyrnong and across Melbourne’s west, we have schools that are struggling with insufficient funding while educating kids from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, non-English speaking backgrounds, or managing disability and special needs.

“Under these reforms, these kids and these schools will be supported, making a huge difference to the rest of their lives,” Mr Shorten said.

“Our National Plan for School Improvement including this new funding model should lay the foundation for Australia’s future economic prosperity.

“This is about helping every Australian child get the best possible education and secure a high-wage, high skilled job.

“It is a plan not only for each and every student’s future but is a plan for our country’s future, and I hope the State Government will recognise it as such.”

More information about the plan and funding model is available at www.betterschools.gov.au.

Contact: Jayne Edwards 9326 1300 / 0410 455 737