No state school student will be left behind – that is the Queensland government guarantee.
Premier Campbell Newman chose The Gap State School, in his Ashgrove electorate, to make the ‘Great Results Guarantee’ announcement, promising every cent of the $131 million in federal funding allotted for this year, would go towards “target funding”.
Under the plan, each state school will receive extra funds, but the majority of the funding, about $99 million, will be spent on primary schools, particularly Prep to Year 2, which Mr Newman said were “the most important years” when it came to literacy and numeracy learning.
On average, each student within those years will receive an extra $508.
Special schools will receive an extra $2 million, while National Partnerships schools will continue to receive $800 per student. High schools will receive the remainder – about $30 million.
At this stage there is no plan for the funding to continue past the 2014 school year, although the federal government has committed a further $794 million over the next four years.
“The annual funding will come with a guarantee that every Queensland state school student will either achieve the National Minimum Standard for literacy and numeracy for their year level or have a plan in place to address why they might be falling behind,” Mr Newman said in a statement.
“These guarantees will be published on every school’s website and we want parents and the school community to have input into these targets.”
If a school is meeting its targets, or doing well in the National Minimum Standard tests, Mr Newman said there was always room to “do better” and the money must be spent “at the coal face” on education, not equipment.
Queensland Teacher’s Union president Kevin Bates welcomed the plan, but said he wished for more security.
“A one-off splash of cash is not going to make a lasting difference in a child’s life,” he said.
“What we have to see is an ongoing investment in schools, schools in Queensland have been among the lowest funded in the country for many, many years and the results of Queensland students have suffered as a consequence of successive government’s failure to invest in those schools.
“So what we need to see is a long-term commitment to funding that will ensure students, year after year, will see the benefits.”