Home' Teacher : September 2010 Contents 58 TEACHER SEPTEMBER 2010
IT'S TIME FOR A CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION ABOUT SYSTEM
REFORM TO ENABLE SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE A QUALITY EDUCATION
FOR ALL CHILDREN. AS BARBARA LEMON AND LUCAS WALSH
EXPLAIN, SUBMISSIONS TO THE COMMONWEALTH REVIEW OF
FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS INDICATE THERE'S A CHANCE SUCH A
CONVERSATION WILL HAPPEN.
For the first time since the Whitlam era, funding arrangements for all schools in
Australia are under review. An expert panel headed by David Gonski is investigat-
ing the current funding model and will report to the Com monwealth government in
2011 with recommendations, according to the government's terms of reference for
the review, for 'a funding system for the period beyond 2012 which is transparent,
fair, financially sustainable and effective in promoting excellent educational outcomes
for all Australian students.'
To date, public submissions to the review have been united in their call for a fairer,
more transparent funding system which upholds the responsibility of government to
provide a quality education for all children. This 'special responsibility,' according to
the submission of the Australian Secondary Principals Association, means building a
platform for social inclusion and delivering on the goals of the Melbourne Declaration:
essentially, to promote equity and excellence in Australian schools and to enable all
young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals,
and active and informed citizens.
It's well know n that the current funding system is divided between government
and non-government schools, and based on a complex set of arrangements. Non-
government schools receive the bulk of their funding from the Commonwealth under
the 2008 Schools Assistanc e Act; government schools receive the bulk of theirs from
their state or territory, regulated by the National Education Agreement.
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