Page 1625 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 May 2013

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need to adopt a needs-based model, including a schooling resource standard with a six-year transition period, with an annual growth rate of 3.6 per cent, with any additional funding being shared on a ratio of 65 to 35 commonwealth-state.

The ACT’s situation is different in the sense that the majority, the vast majority, of our schools already reach the school resourcing standard that other jurisdictions are being asked to fund their system to. So in terms of financial benefit for the territory, were we to sign the Gonski-related reforms it would not involve large increases of education funding coming from the commonwealth—quite different from what we have seen being signed and delivered in New South Wales.

There are some issues for the ACT in the sense that we will be required to implement a range of the national school improvement plan initiatives or all of the national school improvement plan initiatives. We are happy to do so, but at the moment the resourcing for that will not be as it is for other jurisdictions where the level of funding of schools has not been what it has been in the ACT.

One of the other strange outcomes of this is that those jurisdictions, WA and the ACT in this instance, that have prioritised education funding in their budget and have brought their schools up to a resourcing standard that is very good—and it is very good in the ACT on any comparison—in a sense will not be benefiting from the flow of commonwealth dollars because there is no requirement for the commonwealth to bring our students up to that level of resourcing.

So there is still a bit of work to go with the commonwealth. We overwhelmingly endorse the direction that these reforms are going in. We think they are good for education across the country. But we are wanting to make sure that there is a good deal for students in the ACT regardless of what school they attend.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Chief Minister, can you advise the Assembly of details of the principles underpinning the school resource standard and what impact they will have across our ACT education system?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Berry for the supplementary. The school resourcing standard focuses on providing a set amount, or a base amount, for each student—so for primary students $9,271 and for secondary students $12,193. There are loadings on top of that based on socioeconomic status, disability, Indigenous, English language, school size and/or remote and regional schools. All loadings would be publicly funded in all schools, government and non-government, and the base amount in non-government schools would be discounted by parents’ capacity to pay non-government school fees.

Under the proposed offer from the commonwealth, it is different about how that applies to our schools. For schools that are funded below the resource standard, their entitlement would be to transition to the resourcing standard over six years and that would be growing at a rate of 3.6 per cent. For those schools funded at the school resourcing standard now, their funding would grow by 3.6 per cent indexation, but for

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