One Bega Valley Public School family and the school’s principal say Gonski funding has made a dramatic difference to the education of the school’s students.
Parents and P&C members Peggy Herbert and Dennis Scott have just returned from meetings to discuss Indigenous education funding in Canberra with federal politicians and union members.
“We were part of a delegation of students, parents, teachers and principals that participated in a lobbying group along with the Australian Education Union, around closing the gap in Indigenous education,” Ms Herbert said.
The family was able to discuss Indigenous issues with opposition leader Bill Shorten, shadow minister for early childhood education, childcare and youth Kate Ellis, Northern Territory senator Nova Peris and shadow minister for Indigenous affairs and ageing Shayne Neumann.
“I spoke about how the Gonski funding was going towards extra support for my daughter Sophia and many other students,” Ms Herbert said.
“Very early on we started thinking about what school would be like for Sophia and other children with additional needs, and were adamant that access to a good and fair education were a fundamental right.
“Before Sophia's first year of school we found the process of helping the school to secure funding for additional support quite daunting and very difficult, having to provide documents from all kinds of professionals backing up our request for extra support.
“We have been very lucky in being able to secure a high level of funding, however, there is a gap and Gonski funding has helped go towards filling this.”
BVPS principal Carolyn Nugent agreed.
“It all comes down to funding,” she said.
“The funding is uncertain at the moment but our goals are to implement the programs no matter what, for the benefit of our families despite the budget cuts.”
“One important thing we are doing is tracking the pupils progress and the data and analysis is discussed with the teachers,” she said.