Thanks to Malcolm Turnbull, Illawarra schools will lose more than $15 million over the next two years alone.

Today, we will be visiting Woonona High School in Wollongong.  Because of Mr Turnbull, it will be $447,000 worse off.

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek, said Malcolm Turnbull’s new schools policy was completely unfair.

“Mr Turnbull is cutting money from public schools, but giving many elite private schools multimillion dollar increases.

“Woonona High School will lose around $447,000 over the next two years, while The King’s School in Sydney, with fees of over $30 000, will get an extra $19 million over the decade.  

“Malcolm Turnbull’s new schools policy is not based on need, and is not sector blind either.

“He’s giving public schools just 20 per cent of their fair level of funding, while he gives private schools 80 per cent.

“And Mr Turnbull’s new policy includes no plan to improve our schools - not one extra student graduating high school, no improvement in literacy and numeracy, or teaching quality.

“Only Labor stood united against the Liberals’ terrible schools policy from day one. 

“We stood up and fought for public schools and for local Catholic parish schools. 

“Labor will restore every dollar the Liberals have cut. We’ll get all schools up to their fair level of funding.

“We want better schools, better results, and better support for our great teachers.  

“Every student, in every school, deserves a great education.

“That’s what Labor will fight for, every single day, between now and the next election,” Ms Plibersek said.

The Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, said the Liberals could not be trusted on schools.

“The Liberals made an election promise to match Labor’s schools funding plan dollar for dollar.

“But they broke that promise and voted in the Parliament to cut funding from schools.

“Parents, teachers, and principals in the Illawarra won’t forget that betrayal.

“Having only recently surveyed my electorate I received very strong feedback that education is critically important and people are very concerned about the funding of our local schools.

“With the extra funding Labor provided to schools, Woonona High School was able to reduce class sizes and expand curriculum choices.

“It also increased the number of its students that went on to attend university. 

“In 2012 only 15 per cent of Woonona High HSC students went on to study at university – that number rose to 55 per cent in 2016.

“Because of Malcolm Turnbull’s school cuts, the great work being done by schools like Woonona High, is at risk,” Ms Bird said.

Sharon Bird survey results: 

 925 people completed the survey.

  • Proper school funding was ranked #2 in issues of importance
  • Investing in TAFE was ranked #3


551 (59.5%) of  people described in detail an issue they were concerned about in education.

  • 34% expressed concern about school funding, including Gonski reforms
  • 26% expressed a general concern about school education including issues of curriculum, facilities, teacher support, and quality (5% specifically identified educational support for special needs students)
  • 23% expressed concern about early childhood education and after-school care including issues of access and affordability
  • 21% expressed concern about TAFE and vocational education including issues of cost, course availability, cuts and apprenticeships
  • 13% expressed concern about university education including cost, access and quality