Extra $50 million for NSW public schools amid curriculum overhaul

By Matthew Elmas

October 14, 2020

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The Berejiklian government has pledged an additional $50 million for public schools across the state next year in a push to increase teacher numbers.

Taking planned government spending on public schools in 2021 to $1.3 billion, the commitment will also help roll out additional literacy and numeracy programs for students and new training for teachers.

The money will be allocated through the state’s Resource Allocation model, which directs money on a needs-based model that takes into account the socioeconomic profile of students, indigenous student numbers, students with disability and English language proficiency.

It will be outlaid in addition to the $8.8 billion in base allocation funding for NSW public schools each year.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the money will support education reforms, including an overhaul of the NSW curriculum.

“I want to ensure every child in NSW has the opportunity to be best they can be, no matter where they live or what their circumstances may be,” Berejiklian said in a statement.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the commitment brought total government spending on public schools to $10.1 billion in 2021.

“I want to see this funding improve outcomes for our students. Schools have enhanced financial tools that allow them to build this money into their school plans so that students receive more of the benefit,” Mitchell said in a statement.

The extra funding comes after a tumultuous year for school students across the state, with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting school terms and forcing many students to learn from home.

Meanwhile, the state’s department of education is currently embroiled in an increasingly public debate about draft changes to suspension regulations for public schools.

The proposal, which would halve the maximum school suspension from 20 to 10 days, has been opposed by the NSW Teachers federation, but a senior executive from the department of education said existing policies have the potential to adversely impact students with disabilities.

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