Release type: Media Release


Gladstone schools stand to lose if Newman doesn't sign up


Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins
Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations

Gladstone schools stand to lose if Queensland Premier Campbell Newman doesn’t get behind the Federal Government’s National Plan for School Improvement.

If the Queensland Government doesn’t sign up to the plan and the identified extra investment isn’t delivered, Queensland schools will miss out on around $2.2 million, on average, in additional funding per school.

It would be a disaster for schools in the Gladstone area. It can only lead to less resources, fewer development opportunities for teachers, and less targeted support for schools and students that need it most.

We can see the clear evidence of targeted investment here in Gladstone at Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School. Thanks to funding from the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative, the school has been able to develop specialised lesson plans to better suit the needs of students with disability.

If the current broken school funding model introduced by the Howard Government is retained, federal school funding will go backwards by a staggering $16.2 billion over the next six years. This is because of falling indexation and the Opposition’s refusal to guarantee the extra investment provided for schools in this year’s Budget will be delivered.

If the plan is not implemented, and the old system continues, over the next six years in Queensland government schools would lose a total of around $3 billion ($2.4 million on average per school), and Queensland non-government schools would lose a total of around $1.2 billion ($2.5 million on average per school).

If Campbell Newman doesn’t get on board, every school in Gladstone will be worse off.

Under the National Plan for School Improvement schools across Australia would benefit from an extra $14.5 billion in funding over the next six years, as well as higher teaching standards, a stronger focus on early years literacy, and more information for parents and the community.

The Federal Government’s plan will deliver extra funding for students who need extra support.

The plan will deliver a new benchmark amount per student of $9271 for primary school students and $12,193 for high school students, and will include extra funding for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Indigenous students, students with disability and students with limited English skills.

The Federal Government will keep working closely with the Queensland Government to make sure that the plan is agreed by 30 June 2013, in order to give schools, parents and communities right across the nation the certainty they need to plan for next year.