Federal Budget 2013
The announcement that the Government will inject $9.4 billion into our national school system over six years, with annual education spending increase of 4.7 per cent will certainly be welcomed.
However, serious discussion will need to occur alongside this funding boost if real school performance improvements are to be effected, according to leading accounting and advisory firm Grant Thornton Australia.
“Gonski will bring a massive injection of funds into the Education sector, but funding increases alone will not improve school performance,” said Andrew Trnacek Education Lead Partner at Grant Thornton Australia.
“We need greater discussion on reforms to improve school performance. The funding brought in under Gonski funding should further promote school autonomy. School principals must have authority to make local decisions to meet local needs, this includes staffing profile, performance management and partnerships. Money must be available for continued teacher development, and it needs to be recognized that quality of teachers has a bigger impact than quantity.”
“A broader range of professional development is required given the complexities of the modern integrated school. Any increase in performance must also include the tail of under-performing schools.”
“We are seeing concerning numbers suggesting 5 to 15% of students are disengaged. What this points to is an urgent need for an engagement framework, keeping the relationship of the student with their school as the central point. This is something we need to see implanted right across the country if the status of learning in Australia is be improved.”
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Grant Thornton Australia provides audit, tax and advisory services to dynamic, growing organisations and is a single national firm, with over 150 Partners, more than 1,200 people across Australia and national turnover of AUD $232 million. Grant Thornton International is the fastest growing international accounting network in the world, with a global turnover of US$3.7billion and more than 30,000 people, and was recently named 2013 Network of the Year by the International Accounting Bulletin.