No. 02-16,  29 Jan 2016 | Download as PDF

Federal ALP commits to Gonski

The federal ALP opposition yesterday announced its commitment to the full Gonski funding package including the fifth and sixth years of the phased-in funding, as well as reversing Coalition cuts to indexation.

The commitment to the implementation of years five and six of the Gonski phasing represents an additional $4.5 billion across Australia in the school years 2018 and 2019. The package also commits to providing $320m over three years in additional funding from 2017 to support students with disabilities, pending the development of an ongoing model for allocation of funding.

Queensland teachers have known Gonski funding as Great Results Guarantee (GRG) funding and, from 2016, as Investing for Success (I4S) funding. The I4S model of funding negotiated by the QTU with the state government last year was intended to provide ongoing certainty in funding for schools on the basis of need. A commitment to years five and six would further enhance this funding.

Key outcomes

The policy announced by the ALP targets five key outcomes:

  1. Focus on every single child's needs
    a. Tailored support, and more one-on-one attention
  2. More individual attention for students
    a. Investing in schools to improve literacy and numeracy
    b. Early intervention for every student who needs it
    c. Evidence based learning for every child
  3. Investing in our teachers and providing more of them
    a. Investing in our teaching workforce for higher teaching standards
    b. More professional support for teachers in classrooms
    c. Supporting school leaders
  4. Better targeted resources and better equipped classrooms
    a. Giving teachers the resources they need
    b. Real engagement with parents
  5. More support for students with special learning needs
    a. Supporting children with disability

Federal government contrast

There was some hope at the end of the National Week of Action at the end of October that the incoming Turnbull government was considering funding the final two years of the Gonski reforms.

These hopes were seemingly dashed by Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham on 29 December, when he said he hoped to strike fresh funding deals with the states from 2018 and create a simpler funding system. He was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying “I don’t see much benefit for anyone if we dedicate two more years of funding just to create more uncertainty down the track.” As has been the case since 2013, this is in stark contrast to the so called “unity ticket” on education funding that the LNP proclaimed before the last federal election.

Queensland needs to sign-up

Australian states and territories are divided into two camps: those that signed agreements with the previous ALP federal government for Gonski funding (NSW, Victoria, SA, Tasmania, ACT) and those that did not (QLD, WA, NT). Queensland is in the second category after then Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek and the Newman government refused to sign an agreement in 2013.

ACTION:    Sign the petition to Malcolm Turnbull to seek a bipartisan commitment to Gonski and reverse Coalition cuts

Queensland needs to sign-up

Australian states and territories are divided into two camps: those that signed agreements with the previous ALP federal government for Gonski funding (NSW, Victoria, SA, Tasmania, ACT) and those that did not (QLD, WA, NT). Queensland is in the second category after then Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek and the Newman government refused to sign an agreement in 2013.

Last year, the QTU raised the possibility of signing an agreement with the incoming ALP state government in part based on its commitments to additional education funding (e.g. additional 875 teachers and 45 guidance officers over enrolments over three years).

The federal opposition’s policy says that an incoming ALP government will seek to negotiate agreements with Queensland and the other state and territory that do not have agreements. The QTU is continuing to ask the Queensland Government to reach an agreement on education funding.

ACTION: Contact your local ALP state member to ask for the state government to sign on to Gonski like NSW, Victoria etc.

The Queensland Government announces arrangements for prep

Since 2007, the prep year has been universally available to Queensland students. Last Sunday, the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones announced that prep would be compulsory from 2017, rather than just universally available. This means that every student will have a year of schooling before going into Year 1.

The Queensland Government is starting a process of consultation around the amendments that will be needed to education legislation for this to happen. The legislation will be introduced to the Parliament later this year.


 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union