The recent announcement by Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne flagging the overhaul of the school funding model is a major distraction for schools who just want to get on with the work of learning and teaching.
While we have a guarantee on the level of funding for next year, beyond that there is no certainty about how the funding ‘envelope’ will be determined or distributed.
The Gonski review wasn’t just about funding. It recommended a set of reforms, which are enshrined in the Australian Education Act. We need to know whether these reforms will be impacted by the Federal Government’s proposed changes.
While there is certainly some scope to reduce the administrative burden and the costs of implementing and reporting on the reforms, this should not require a major upheaval to existing arrangements. The Coalition promised policy certainty prior to the election and they need to act quickly to ensure minimal disruption to the work of schools and the systems that support them.
Funding is only one part of the equation. The focus has to be on the learning and teaching.