Government releases plan for Better Schools - The National Plan for School Improvement

Federal Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus, today said all local schools will benefit under the Gillard Government's National Plan for School Improvement.

Federal Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus, today said all local schools will benefit under the Gillard Government's National Plan for School Improvement.

The National Plan is the Australian Government's response to the Gonski Review, which identified shortfalls in the current funding system and found that Australia is slipping behind other countries in the education available to our children.

Yesterday Prime Minister Julia Gillard released the plan in response to the first comprehensive review of schools education undertaken in 40 years.

Mr Dreyfus said the Australian Government wants to make sure every young Australian has access to a great education.

"We want to provide school principals and teachers with the support they need to deliver this, through better funding and resources, and ongoing training opportunities," said Mr Dreyfus.

Mr Dreyfus said the Federal Government will deliver a new funding system for all schools, which delivers a benchmark amount for every student, with extra funding available for students facing educational disadvantage or for children with special needs.

"More professional support and ongoing career development will be provided from pre-service teachers to principals, which will directly benefit our children."

"For the first time, funding for every school in Australia would be calculated based on the needs of every student, in every classroom. And funding for all schools will continue to rise under the plan."

"Our National Plan for School Improvement will give local kids the best start so they can get the high-skilled, high paid jobs of the future."

"The National Plan isn't just about more money - that's why any additional funding will be tied to changes that improve the education students receive."

"That means putting the best teachers in local classrooms, giving local principals more power and getting better results for local students."

"We all know that the foundation of a strong Australian economy is based on access to the best education and skills development."

"The Federal Government is committed to ensuring our children have educational opportunities that will allow them to achieve their best, regardless of their wealth, income or background."

Principal of Skye Primary School, Chris Short said the current plans to have a nationwide reform of education funding is a wonderful and timely response to ensure all schools can meet the needs of the next generations of students moving through our schooling system.

"It will help support excellence in all sectors of our education system and help to redress some of the inequities suffered by schools servicing areas of social disadvantage. I am very excited that a government is creating a policy that is proactively meeting the needs of all students in Australia," said Mr Short.

Mr Dreyfus said that over the past decade, Australian students have fallen from second to seventh in reading and fifth to 13th in maths compared to students in other countries.

"Our Plan aims to respond to these challenges and build on our strong educational foundation for the future," said Mr Dreyfus.

For more information on the Plan visit http://www.betterschools.gov.au/.