It's 'Vital' For The PM To Boost Gonski Funding: Education Union

07/05/2016 10:48 AM AEST | Updated 28/09/2016 10:00 PM AEST
Graham Monro/gm photographics via Getty Images
schoolchildren in a row

A new report from the Australian Education Union (AEU) has found the Gonski reforms have led to improved education outcomes for school children.

The report, which analysed results from 24 schools across the country, found higher rates of literacy and numeracy, lifted rates of year 12 completion, and an increase in university offers in programs provided by the new funding, the AEU said.

The report was launched by opposition leader Bill Shorten in Sydney on Saturday as Labor shapes for an election campaign fight over education spending.

The AEU said its report was "clear evidence" Gonski funding delivered improved results for students.

“We are seeing these benefits despite the fact we are less than half way through the Gonski agreements and the majority of increased Gonski funding is yet to be delivered," AEU federal president Correna Haythorpe said.

“This makes it even more vital that Malcolm Turnbull matches Labor’s promise to invest the extra $4.5 billion in funding our schools need in 2018 and 2019."

Barrack Heights Public School in the Shoalhaven, Merrylands Public School in Sydney, Paralowie R-12 School in Adelaide and Minimbah State School in Queensland were among those to have benefited so far, the AEU said.

In 2013, the Gonski Review, headed by businessman David Gonski, made 41 recommendations for a fair, equitable and efficient school funding system, including a $6.5 billion per year funding increase.

The funding has been a contested issue since Labor lost the last federal election and the coalition subsequently moved away from the plan.

The AEU report comes after the NSW coalition government this week called on the government to to fund the last two years of the Gonski deal.

An additional $1.2 billion was pledged for Australian schools over 3 years from 2018 in this week's budget.

But Labor has vowed to bankroll the full $4.5 billion promised for 2018 and 2019 in the Gonski deal.

The difference sets the scene for a major election campaign fight with the ALP, state governments and teachers.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Shorten's promises were unrealistic.

"He's raised expectations he can't meet," she said on Saturday.

"The coalition has increased funding to education but what's more important we have found the savings to pay for that increased spending on education."

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