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Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Peak NSW social services body NCOSS has called on both the Commonwealth Government and NSW Government to work together to swiftly resolve the $1.9 billion funding gap for public schools.

The new NCOSS CEO Cara Varian said it’s time for action.

"We have numerous reports over many years that all point to the fact that you cannot break the cycle of poverty without a good public education system,” Ms Varian said.

“The Commonwealth Government must contribute at least 25 per cent of the School Resource Standard to NSW by 2028– otherwise more children will fall through the cracks.

“We don’t need another report, another meeting, another review or another stopgap measure: we need public schools to be 100 per cent properly funded right now.

"What we need is needs-based funding for public education, and for all levels of government to work together to deliver upon that.

“We encourage the Commonwealth Government and NSW Government to work productively together and reach an agreement that puts the needs of our children first.”

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said it was incumbent on the Minister for Education Jason Clare to provide the funding and put children’s wellbeing first.

“With 1 in 8 people, including 1 in 6 children in Australia currently living in poverty, this funding commitment couldn’t be more urgent,” Dr Goldie said.

“Public schools are educating the vast majority of students with higher needs, including those from lower income families, disadvantaged backgrounds, rural and remote areas, and students with a disability.

“Our public schools do their very best with limited resources. They are doing the heavy lifting on less money and that needs to change.”

Click here to read a joint letter from the peak social services bodies to the Minister for Education, Jason Clare.