Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Give us full Gonski: principal

The Australian Education Union's I Give A Gonski van visited Grahamvale Primary School on Tuesday.

ALEXANDRA BOLKAS February 20, 2014 5:56am

Grahamvale Primary School principal Lyn Eadie says the school will suffer unless the Federal Government commits to funding six years of David Gonski’s Better Schools Plan.

The van is touring Victorian schools with union members who are talking to parents about education funding and collecting signatures for the I Give A Gonski petition.

Ms Eadie said the funding was essential to allow government schools to cater for students on a needs-basis.

‘‘We see Gonski as an opportunity for us to have government money that would allow us to better resource students and give us flexibility in teaching,’’ she said.

The former Federal Labor Government committed to funding six years of the Better Schools Plan.

But the Abbott Government last year announced it would only commit to four years.

Ms Eadie said the school would receive little money during the first year of the funding model.

‘‘It’s the fifth and sixth year where we will actually get additional funding.’’

She said the school would have to rely on money raised through the school community without the additional funding.

‘‘We have a student who has a difficulty with language,’’ she said.

‘‘If we don’t get funding through the disabilities program that child will have to be catered to solely through our budget.

‘‘Our school is dependent on locally raised funds.’’

AEU Victorian branch vice-president Erin Aulich said the purpose of the I Give A Gonski campaign was to pressure the Federal Government to sign up to the full six years.

‘‘The majority of the money that come out of the Gonski review under the Better Schools Reform plan comes in years five and six,’’ Ms Aulich said.

‘‘So for them to sign up to the first four years, that’s great, but we need them to sign up for the remaining two because that’s where the bulk of the money will come.’’

She said the funding was necessary to ensure disadvantaged students received the best possible education.

The van, along with two others, will tour Victoria for three weeks before arriving in Canberra, where union members hope to present politicians with the collected signatures.

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