Class sizes could be reduced by four students and four new teachers could be employed at every public Hobart school if the Federal Government funded schools to the national minimum standard, new figures show.
The data released today by the Australian Education Union shows the direct impact the inequitable Federal Government school funding arrangements has on Tasmanian students.
“Each year, every public-school student in Hobart is missing out on $1289 because of the failure of the Federal Government to ensure that every school is funded to a minimum of 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS),” AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said.
“This shocking figure should concern every Hobart parent and community member. It represents the funding shortfall for local public schools. Funding that could be used to employ additional teachers, support staff and to provide the smaller class sizes and additional learning programs that every student deserves.
“By refusing to address public school funding inequities, the Federal Government is putting the future of our children at risk,” Ms Haythorpe said.
Australian Education Union Tasmania Branch President, David Genford highlighted the benefits that would flow to local public school students if the Federal Government properly and fairly funded Hobart public schools.
“With a minimum of 100 per cent of the SRS, public school students in greater Hobart would benefit from increased support and more individual attention,” Mr Genford said.
“Additional funding would provide more specialist teachers, more professional development and additional time for teaching and learning time for all schools.”
“We know that a professionally supported workforce, smaller class sizes and more individual attention and learning support can change a child’s life. That’s why it is so important that every school has the resources needed to ensure every child has the greatest opportunity to reach their full potential,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the pre-existing inequities in education and continues to seriously impact on students, our members and the communities they serve.
“However, investment in public education would reduce that risk and deliver a strong foundation for our nation’s long-term recovery from COVID-19.
“The Federal Government must understand the critical importance of funding every public school properly to a minimum of 100 per cent of the SRS, ensuring that every child has a high quality education regardless of their background.”