Labor demands the Abbott Government continue providing extra school funding for disadvantaged students in line with the Gonski school funding model.


Reports today have suggested the Government is cynically considering cuts to additional support for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.


Despite promises made before the election, and Tony Abbott’s embarrassing double-backflip on school funding at the end of last year, the Government has been caught out looking into how to dismantle the core of the Gonski needs-based funding system.


“Kevin Rudd and I are on an absolute unity ticket when it comes to school funding”
                                      Tony Abbott - 4 August 2013

“We are committed to the student resource standard, of course we are. We are committed to this new school funding model”
                    Christopher Pyne, 30 August 2013

“Extra funding based on the individual needs of students is at the heart of the Gonski school funding agreements, which Tony Abbott promised to honour,” Kate Ellis, Shadow Education Minister, said.

“The Government got a stinging rebuke from the community when it tried to rip the guts out of the entire Gonski school funding reforms, so now it looks like it has turned to white-anting.”


The secrecy surrounding the Abbott Government’s internal review of the funding loading for disadvantaged students raises the question: what are they trying to hide?


The Gonski system of school funding has individual loadings to make sure every child gets the resources and individual attention they need to succeed, no matter where they go to school. Additional loadings are applied for small schools, remote schools, disadvantaged students, Indigenous students, students with limited English, and students with disability.


The Abbott Government’s Budget cut funding for the vital fifth and sixth years of the Gonski reforms, and slashed $30 billion from schools over the next decade.


“Tony Abbott has launched a full-frontal assault on our schools – he has failed to fund the full Gonski reforms, and made the biggest ever cuts to education,” Kate Ellis said.


“He deliberately lied before the election, and now he is trying to trick Australians by unpicking the Gonksi school funding model from within.”


“Mr Abbott should give Australians more credit, they know a complete lie when they hear one.”


With the worst of the Government’s funding cuts to take place from 2018, Kate Ellis warned the Government against any further attacks on the Gonski needs-based funding system.


“The next election will be a referendum on school reform,” Kate Ellis said.