Release type: Media Release


Education Unions should accept extra funding for schools


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today called on the Australian Education Union to support the Government’s plans to direct additional funding to schools based on the information now available to Australian parents on the My School website.

The Government yesterday announced an additional $11 million on top of the $2.5 billion already allocated to help struggling schools.

Up to $100,000 will be distributed to 110 lower performing literacy and numeracy schools that would have fallen through the cracks and missed out on additional funding if the My School data wasn’t available.

It is amazing that an education union would reject additional funding for education simply because they object to giving parents more information about their local schools.

Parents deserve to have access to information about their children’s schools and the Government is making the information available rather than keeping it secret from the public.

The Federal Government has never had access to school level data before. Without the My School information, the Federal Government would never have known these 110 schools had large numbers of students struggling with literacy and numeracy. And this extra funding will provide a fantastic boost for the schools.

This funding is in addition to the previously announced $2.5 billion Smarter Schools National Partnerships which are aimed at improving teacher quality, lifting literacy and numeracy standards and improving results in schools in low socio-economic areas.

This includes $540 million to be spent over four years to help those schools with poor literacy and numeracy standards following successful pilot programs in 2009. National partnerships to distribute the funding will be completed in the coming days.

The partnerships will deliver practical help, including literacy and numeracy specialist teachers in the classroom, literacy and numeracy coaches to help teachers to improve their teaching skills and additional teacher’s aides to provide support for teachers.

$550 million over four years will be provided across Australia for improving teacher quality, including additional teacher’s aides and specialist training to support teachers.

$1.5 billion will be provided over seven years to support up to 1500 low socio-economic status schools across the country. This funding will be matched by state and territory co-investment over the life of the partnership.