Beyond the Classroom resources for schools, students - Page 18 of 21 - Education Matters

PM On School Route To Sell Gonski

With both Queensland and Victoria digging their heels in over support for the Gonski reforms, the PM and her cabinet are visiting schools around the country to explain the $14.5 billion reform package. The school blitz is aimed to get the funds moving ahead of the start of the 2014 school year by putting pressure on the Premiers to sign up before the June 30 deadline.

The PM is also planning to hold a teleconference with 200 school principals regarding the reform, with her message to the Premiers remaining unchanged. The PM says that now is the time to boost funding to benefit Australian kids, and if NSW Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell can see the merit in Labor’s plan, then why can’t his Liberal peers.

Julia Gillard has also written to Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, as her concern grows that he is stalling the negotiations to hide Victorian Government cuts to schools behind increased federal funding. The letter follows a similar letter sent last week by Mr Garrett.

Labor Hits Back At Gonski Critics

Labor has again rejected criticism of its Gonski school funding reforms by the Catholic school sector, saying that the proposal would not limit the autonomy of the major education provider.

The Catholic education body has fiercely attacked the Gonski plan and called for the legislation to be amended, to rule out federal interference in its schools. But the government said the concerns of the Catholic sector had already been taken into account in legislative amendments. 

The growing conflict with the Catholic sector comes about as Education Minister Peter Garrett also criticised the Victorian Government saying that the Victorian Government were playing “sectoral” politics, and rejected State Education Minister Martin Dixon’s push for government, Catholic and Independent schools in Victoria to start negotiations afresh.

So far only the NSW and ACT Governments have signed up for the Gonski funding reforms, with WA, NT and Queensland unlikely to agree.

PM Unveils New Closing The Gap Target

Julia Gillard has unveiled a new Closing The Gap target that will ensure Indigenous children attend preschool or kindergarten.

In a statement the Prime Minister said the new target would aim to drive efforts to ensure that 90% of enrolled Indigenous children across the nation, attend a quality childhood education program in the year before they start full time school.

Garrett Can’t Say How Much Gonski Money will go to Catholic, Independents

School Education Minister Peter Garrett has been unable to say how much money Catholic and Independent Schools will receive in the first year of the government’s Gonski reforms.

Mr Garrett said negotiations with both sectors were still ongoing and details needed to be thrashed out even as Labor continues to urge other State Governments to sign up to its proposed overhaul of school funding.