Hundreds of students at Armidale public schools will miss out on already promised opportunities under the Gonski 2.0 model

FUNDING DISAPPOINTMENT: Armidale Teachers Association President Michael Sciffer said without the funding promised over the next two years, hundredss of students will miss out on opportunities.
FUNDING DISAPPOINTMENT: Armidale Teachers Association President Michael Sciffer said without the funding promised over the next two years, hundredss of students will miss out on opportunities.

PUBLIC schools in Armidale have been delivered a $2.9 million hit under Gonski 2.0.

Pegged as one of the biggest beneficiaries under the original model, the New England electorate is now likely the biggest loser.

Armidale Teachers Association president Michael Sciffer calls on Member for New England Barnaby Joyce to explain his support for the new system.

“What was supposed to be implemented over two years will now be over ten, that means a child starting kindergarten is going to be in high school before they’re at a school with all of those opportunities available to them,” he said.

“That’s a huge number of kids that are going to go through the system without the opportunities they could have had.

“The majority of families send their kids to public schools, so it’s the majority of families that will be hurt when the funding is cut.”

The Gonski report, written by businessman David Gonski, looked at the minimum level of funding needed to ensure children can reach their potential.

That minimum level of funding was due to be delivered by 2019, currently, schools have received around 30 per cent of what was promised.

A spokesman for Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the numbers quoted by the union relate to a deal struck by the Gillard Government that ended three years ago.

“Our plan is about giving all Australian schools a fair go and wiping away the 27 special deals Labor signed up that trashed the recommendations of David Gonski and his panel of experts,” he said.

“The Turnbull Government is delivering the real, needs-based, sector blind funding system that David Gonski and his panel of experts envisaged.

“Our plan is about giving all Australian schools a fair go and wiping away the 27 special deals Labor signed up that trashed the recommendations of David Gonski and his panel of experts.

“We’ve used the best data sets available in Australia to develop our funding plan unlike some of our critics who seem to be doing their calculations on the back of an envelope.”

The report identified a number of groups that were disadvantaged, those included rural and isolated, Indigenous students, kids from low-income families and non-English speaking backgrounds.

“There are kids missing out now,” Mr Sciffer said.

“You want to make sure that all kids are at the levels that we know they need to be able to participate at schools – for some that means ongoing support into high school.

“With that additional funding we can provide those sorts of services to kids, both intensive interventions in primary school and the ongoing support.”

The funding promised in the original Gonski agreement would fund culturally appropriate education for Indigenous students.

It would open up a door for those with complex learning requirements, bringing speech therapists, psychologists and occupational therapists into public schools.

“The difference is that over the next two years there’s about 50 per cent less funding,” Mr Sciffer said.

“We need more time, that’s something I think is really valuable, with that time we can employ additional teachers in schools so they can prepare for their students.

“It means that we won’t be able to ensure that every student has access to the support they need to reach their academic potential.”