Peter Garrett is the Federal Minister for School Education. Earlier this year, the Education Department released a report into how schools are funded – the Gonski report. It recommends a $5 billion increase in the education budget and a new funding model to reduce the educational gap between students from different socio-economic backgrounds. The Minister has not committed to implementing the report's recommendations.
When Jacob Rogowski-dann arrived at East Sydney High in Year 10, the 16 year old had the reading level of someone half his age due to learning and language difficulties. Just one year on, he achieved a score of more than 70 out of 100 in his Year 10 High School Certificate. He says his rapid improvement was made possible because of one-on-one teacher time and a more flexible schooling model.
Gus Napoli is the Principal of John Fawkner College in Victoria – previously known as Fawkner Secondary College. The school college was shut down due to serious underperformance and reopened in 2010 under its new name. Gus oversaw a total revamp of the school, made possible through special state funding.
Naomi Warlond teaches kindergarten students at Hampden Park Public School in Lakemba, Sydney. Being situated amongst a diverse ethnic community, with a low socioeconomic background, means the school usually attracts students who are vastly disadvantaged compared to other Australian primary school students. Naomi says she usually has to teach functional English before she can start teaching the syllabus.