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International report further proof that Gonski is the right way forward

Media Release
Penny Wright 12 Sep 2012

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools, Senator Penny Wright, said the 2012 OECD Education at a Glance report was further proof that Australia requires a fairer, needs-based education funding system, based on the principles highlighted in the Gonski review.

Senator Wright also welcomed reports today that OECD deputy director for education, Dr Andreas Schleicher, has endorsed moves to target funding to schools based on the greatest need.

“I am heartened by Dr Schleicher’s comments, which show us that we are on the right path with Gonski,” Senator Wright said.

“We continue to lag behind other countries when it comes to properly resourcing our public schools. Years of chronic underfunding, as highlighted by Gonski, means we spend almost 20 per cent less on our public schools compared to the OECD average, and are significantly behind countries such as Finland, Canada and Japan.

“The report clearly shows that students who attend disadvantaged schools underperform significantly compared with their peers who attend more advantaged schools.

“This is yet more evidence that we need to prioritise public schools, especially those who cater for the most disadvantaged students, under a new schools funding system. This approach will mean all students, regardless of where they come from or how much their parents earn, will have the chance to reach their full potential.

“We also invest less in our teaching profession, with the salaries of experienced teachers lagging behind those of their colleagues in other countries.

“Teachers educate the citizens for our future – to attract and retain the best people we must value them and provide a career structure that reflects the important job they do.

“Gonski has shown us a solution to the problems highlighted in this report. Our kids can no longer afford to wait – we must get on with Gonski!”

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