“Schools need funding, not another review”: Educators slam Tasmanian Labor’s education priorities

Tasmanian educators are extremely disappointed in Labor’s decision to call for a lengthy review into the state’s underfunded public education system, rather than getting on with the job of fixing the issues.

“The first step to lifting learning in Tasmania is to urgently fund all public schools and colleges to the agreed minimum level – not kick the can down the road with more reviews,” said David Genford, AEU Tasmania President.

“Governments agreed more than a decade ago that every school should be funded to the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) – a minimum level of funding to enable a school to educate 80% of its students to minimum levels in reading and numeracy,” said Mr Genford.

“Not a single Tasmanian public school is funded to the benchmark SRS, while every private school is funded at or above the standard.

“Dean Winter would best serve students by securing from his federal counterparts a fairer share of federal funding and securing a deal which delivers 100% of the minimum SRS, and without any accounting tricks.

“Underfunding is driving excessive workloads, and driving teachers from the profession, and until that’s fixed there won’t be any significant or sustained improvement in what Tasmanian students are able to achieve.

“Funding enables schools to provide for small group work, extra tailored support with literacy and numeracy, and more one-on-learning which many students need.”

In the Australian Government’s Expert Panel report in 2023, under-resourcing was identified as a barrier to student achievement and that the full funding of public schools was “urgent and critical” and a precondition for improving results, equity, and student wellbeing.

“Reviews into education have been done, the evidence is in and the solutions on the table. Mr Winter should urgently be developing plans to deliver them, not distract and delay.”