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Federal must not abandon NSW public schools, says Minister Adrian Piccoli

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today reaffirmed the NSW Government’s commitment to fund all its obligations under the Gonski Agreement.

“When we signed up to Gonski, NSW committed an extra $1.76 billion in school funding. We will honour our obligations under the Agreement and we call on the Commonwealth Government to do the same,” Mr Piccoli said.

Mr Piccoli said he will meet with all school sectors to plan a strategy to ensure the Commonwealth Government meets its commitments.

“As Minister for Education I am bitterly disappointed that the Commonwealth Government has walked away from a signed agreement with NSW,” he said.

“Not only is this a breach of a commitment to NSW, it is breach of faith with all school students in the State.

“This will cost NSW schools $1.2 billion in 2018 and 2019 alone, with Government schools losing $944m, Catholic schools losing $209m and Independent schools losing $120m.

“Schools in regional areas, as well as disadvantaged and Aboriginal students, will be the hardest hit.

“The Premier and Treasurer have today emphasised the NSW Government’s commitment to increased funding through the full six-year agreement remains in place – even as the Commonwealth tries to walk away from its commitments.

“The Gonski Agreement gave NSW the ability to strengthen and accelerate vital reforms to education in NSW.

“The $1.76 billion NSW Government commitment will allow that work to continue but the loss of Commonwealth funding will significantly restrict our capacity to continue to improve the quality of the education provided to students.”

Mr Piccoli said the loss of Commonwealth funding threatens:

·         the ability to fully fund all schools which are  currently below the “Schooling Resource Standard”;

·         the next generation of literacy and numeracy reforms;

·         additional initiatives to improve the quality of teaching;

·         greater provision of Asian languages;

·         targeted funding for students with high needs, such as those with a disability, refugees or from disadvantaged backgrounds;

·         expanded  personalised learning to all students; and

·         reforms to maths and science teaching and learning to improve achievement and attract more students to study at higher levels.