The Gonski Hit List explained

June 14, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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“The Australian” front page article “Gonski hit list: the elite schools set to lose” features a table heading “Private Schools Losing Out” includes four Jewish Day Schools has raised concerns within the community.

In a letter the executive director of the Australian Council Of Jewish Schools Len Hain has written: “I have received some concerned calls this morning about the inclusion of some of our schools in the table.

We have four schools listed in the article under the heading Private Schools Losing Out”

  • Yesodei Hatorah (Vic)
  • Mount Scopus Memorial College (Vic)
  • Mount Scopus GBH (Vic) and
  • Moriah College (NSW)

We also have in the article one school, Masada College (NSW), which is under the heading Schools going backward. The inclusion of Masada is known and is being addressed with Masada and with the Government. We raised the issue of Masada specifically when giving evidence before Senate inquiry on June 3, we have noted the circumstances and impact with the Minister’s office and with the Department as best we can. We are continuing to address this issue.

In regard to the other four  schools noted under the heading “Private Schools Losing Out”, I advise there is no change in anything that I have advised you. The values printed in the article for “per student” funding are the values, I advised, that now also appear on the school funding estimator.

The article is attempting to show the difference in theoretical funding that would have applied if each school continued to be funded under the existing model with no change at all proposed.

The assumption underlying the article in itself are not realistic . The assumptions used as the base in which the paper is measuring against appears to include

  • That the 3 indexation rates remain unchanged as legislated. That is 3.0%, 3.6% and 4.6% depending on the “above”, “on” or “below” position of each school in respect of the current SRS. This is a reasonable assumption, and
  • The “additionality” (the value of extra funding set to be allocated in the last 2 years of the initial model was to be applied.  It is here the assumption on the base funding is not realistic. The additionality as we have discussed was not ever legislated to apply. The current Government when it came into office in 2016 advised they would maintain the funding till the end of 2017 as budgeted, but noted the additionality was not legislated, and would not honour it after the end of 2017. The inclusion of that money was not coming in 2018 irrespective of the changes now proposed.

Notwithstanding the absence of the additionality, the Australian has included the additionality as if it were continuing and has measured what the school in theory would have received under the existing model with the additionality included against what the school is proposed to receive under the current proposal per the Education Act Amendment Bill 2017 (Gonski 2.0).

The article purports to say that each school on the list under the table heading “Private Schools Losing Out”, will receive less under the proposed model than they would have under the existing model with all assumptions applying including additionality. The argument in some cases is correct even without additionality, as some school were “above” SRS and now proposed to transition to SRS within 10 years. Others if the indexation changes will receive less than otherwise, but not overly significant in most cases.  Eg. 3.6% average indexation down to 3.3% or 3.4%.

I wish to remind all as well of the large assumptions in the estimator tool that expect all data, enrolments, demographics and schools to remain totally unchanged from that which applied in 2016 in each of the years between 2018 and 2027

The article refers to a hit list. It is in fact a list of schools whose recurrent per student funding using a range of assumptions  are indicated to receive less now than they would under a theoretical calculation that we were advised in early 2016 would not be applicable to the same extent.”


One Response to “The Gonski Hit List explained”
  1. Sandy Matrai says:

    What about Masada College, who have already warned their member families about the reductions in government subsidy and how it will effect funding for the school over the coming years.

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