North West public schools underfunded by $27 million a year

Public schools in the North West are being underfunded by a total of $27,654,750 a year, the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) revealed today.

The region’s colleges and major high schools – Burnie, Latrobe, Reece and Penguin – are each being short-changed by more than a $1million a year, the AEU’s data analysis shows.

“The level of underfunding is alarming – this is a region with high levels of disadvantage and unemployment, yet schools are being denied the resources needed to put its students on pathways to brighter futures,” said David Genford, AEU Tasmania President.

“Underfunding students in Prep means they miss out on the one-on-one literacy attention they need and start to disengage. Underfunding in Year 8 means that student doesn’t receive the extra catch-up teacher time they need, or mental health support that could allow them to focus on their studies. Without the minimum funding required, we now have a student who is less likely to complete Year 12 ready for work or further education and the life opportunities that come with a quality education. That’s both the human and economic impact of underfunding schools in the North West,” he said.

East Devonport Primary, outside which the AEU released the Braddon figures, has a funding shortfall this year of $464,166 which is the equivalent of employing about four teachers.

“An additional four teachers, more access to school psychologists, and more teacher assistants would make a world of difference to students at East Devonport Primary – as they would to other schools and colleges around the state,” said Mr Genford.

“Reducing class sizes, enabling more individual attention for students, more support from specialists and improved learning materials is what money buys and they are prerequisites to students achieving better results,” he said.

“It is completely unacceptable that parent communities feel the pressure to fundraise for learning materials, books and other essentials including devices.

“Underfunding doubles down on disadvantage because in poorer areas parent communities have less capacity to fundraise.”

The Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) is a benchmark level of funding which governments agreed was needed for schools to educate 80% of students to minimum reading and numeracy standards.

Not a single Tasmanian public school is funded to the benchmark, denying $118 million per year to our schools which equates to, on average, $2,169* per student. 

The AEU’s For Every Child Campaign is calling on the Federal Government to ensure every public school is funded up to the SRS benchmark. The AEU has been collecting signed postcards from around the state for the PM calling on him to deliver full funding for public schools.

“I will be boarding the ferry Friday night then driving to Canberra to deliver to the Prime Minister messages and postcards from parents and educators from all parts of Tasmania,” Mr Genford said.

“The Albanese Government must honour its commitment to full funding and ensure every Tasmanian public school has at least the minimum level of resourcing.”

Public schools in Braddon – Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) shortfall in 2023

School NameSuburb SRS shortfall
Andrews Creek Primary SchoolWesley Vale $       354,848.40
Boat Harbour Primary SchoolBoat Harbour $       513,619.20
Burnie High SchoolCooee $    1,188,178.20
Burnie Primary SchoolPark Grove $       748,521.90
Cooee Primary SchoolCooee $       385,648.20
Devonport High SchoolDevonport $       831,811.50
Devonport Primary SchoolDevonport $       504,943.20
Don CollegeDevonport $    1,506,804.30
East Devonport Primary SchoolEast Devonport $       464,166.00
East Ulverstone Primary SchoolUlverstone $       508,847.40
Edith Creek Primary SchoolEdith Creek $       128,404.80
Forest Primary SchoolForest $       321,012.00
Forth Primary SchoolForth $       442,042.20
Havenview Primary SchoolHavenview $       244,229.40
Hellyer CollegeShorewell Park $    1,279,276.20
Hillcrest Primary SchoolDevonport $       389,118.60
King Island District High SchoolCurrie $       408,205.80
Latrobe High SchoolLatrobe $ 1,334,151.90
Latrobe Primary SchoolLatrobe $       693,212.40
Miandetta Primary SchoolMiandetta $       688,874.40
Montello Primary SchoolMontello $       647,229.60
Mountain Heights SchoolQueenstown $       416,014.20
Natone Primary SchoolNatone $         56,394.00
Nixon Street Primary SchoolDevonport $       810,772.20
North West Support SchoolActon $       294,550.20
Parklands High SchoolRomaine $       942,864.30
Penguin District SchoolPenguin $    1,408,765.50
Port Sorell Primary SchoolPort Sorell $       573,049.80
Redpa Primary SchoolRedpa $         70,709.40
Reece High SchoolDevonport $    1,122,457.50
Riana Primary SchoolRiana $       203,452.20
Ridgley Primary SchoolRidgley $       238,590.00
Romaine Park Primary SchoolRomaine $       709,696.80
Rosebery District SchoolRosebery $       162,675.00
Sassafras Primary SchoolSassafras $         92,399.40
Smithton High SchoolSmithton $       737,676.90
Smithton Primary SchoolSmithton $       418,183.20
Somerset Primary SchoolSomerset $       722,710.80
Sprent Primary SchoolSprent $         70,709.40
Spreyton Primary SchoolSpreyton $       743,967.00
Stanley Primary SchoolStanley $       141,418.80
Strahan Primary SchoolStrahan $       104,545.80
Table Cape Primary SchoolWynyard $       722,277.00
Ulverstone Primary SchoolUlverstone $       796,456.80
Ulverstone Secondary CollegeUlverstone $    1,215,507.60
West Ulverstone Primary SchoolWest Ulverstone $       288,043.20
Wynyard High SchoolWynyard $       553,311.90
Yolla District SchoolYolla $       329,471.10
Zeehan Primary SchoolZeehan $       124,934.40
Total SRS underfunding in Braddon $ 27,654,750.00

*Adam Rorris 2023 report – provides the updated Tasmanian per student SRS shortfall figure of $2,169.
Braddon schools SRS shortfall is calculated using 2022 enrolment numbers, multiplied by $2,169.