Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu
Victoria Minister for Education Martin Dixon
Victoria’s Plan For School Funding Reform – The Next Steps In Raising Student Performance
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government has announced a new plan for school funding reform that will deliver more resources for disadvantaged students in Victorian government, Catholic and Independent schools.
Premier Ted Baillieu said a clear focus of the Gonski review was to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students.
“The Victorian Plan will deliver additional funding for government and non-government schools to improve support for students with significant learning needs.” Premier Baillieu said.
The Victorian Plan will deliver the following three new funding reforms:
- Increased funding to government schools which exhibit high concentrations of disadvantage, to allow them to provide more support for their students
- A new stream of funding which ‘follows’ educationally disadvantaged students to any school, government or non-government, that they choose to attend (a ‘pupil premium’)
- More consistent funding across both government and non-government schools for students with disability
“Importantly, no school would be worse off under this Plan and many would gain significantly.” Premier Baillieu said.
“The Victorian Plan would be phased in from the 2014 school year and deliver more than $400 Million in additional funding to Victorian schools each year when fully implemented.”
“It will deliver better outcomes for Victorian students and is based on what we know will work here in Victoria.” Premier Baillieu said.
The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments will provide an appropriate funding contribution to deliver the Plan.
The Victorian Coalition Government remains open to working with the Commonwealth to explore how resourcing for government and non-government students can be further aligned, where these changes would make a significant and measurable difference to meeting the specific needs of students and schools in Victoria.
It will be important to ensure that any such changes are implemented in a financially responsible and sustainable way.
Education Minister Martin Dixon said the Victorian Plan represented a practical and responsible way to improve outcomes in schools in Victoria.
“The Gonski Review provided important findings about the need to target resources to help schools address the needs of disadvantaged students.” Mr. Dixon said.
“The Victorian Plan would deliver increased funding to government schools which have the highest concentration of disadvantage.”
“This would allow, for example, those schools to provide more student support services officers, training and support to assist teachers to implement special learning programs, and assist schools to attract and retain high performing teachers who have expertise working with students with learning difficulties.”
“Importantly, the new ‘pupil premium’ for educationally disadvantaged students will provide a portable amount of extra funding that will follow the individual student to whatever school (government or non-government) that they choose to attend.”
“This will allow a school to provide tailored support for these students such as one-on-one intensive support in literacy and numeracy, and counselling support.”
“The Victorian Plan would also provide more consistent funding to schools for students with disability which would allow parents who have a child with disability to choose the school which best meets their child’s education needs.”
“It is realistic and achievable. Together with our previously released plans for workforce reform and school-based reform, it supports Victoria’s students to continue to be not only among the best in Australia, but among the best performers globally.” Mr. Dixon said.
The Victorian Plan for School Funding Reform the next steps in raising student performance will serve as the basis for discussions with the Prime Minister ahead of the forthcoming Council of Australian Governments meeting in April this year.
Mr. Dixon said Victoria was concerned that the Commonwealth’s proposed response to the Gonski report may not deliver better outcomes for Victorian students and may result in some schools being worse off.
“The Commonwealth Government has proposed a single national price for schooling (the national Schooling Resource Standard) which emphasises national uniformity over effectiveness and efficiency.” Mr. Dixon said.
“It is also concerning that the Commonwealth appears to want to tie additional funding for Victorian schools with greater intervention in schools’ decision making, stifling their ability to respond to parents, communities and local school system leaders.”
“The Commonwealth Government’s proposed one-size-fits-all approach to funding and standards poses significant risk to the achievements of, and ongoing improvements to, the Victorian school system.” Mr. Dixon said.