Huge cash injection for Penrith schools

Cranebrook High School Relieving Principal Craig Dunne and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres with students. Photo: Melinda Jane
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Needs-based Gonski funding for public schools in Penrith will increase next year, sharing an extra $3.5 million across our 21 primary and secondary schools.

The announcement by Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres last week brings the total 2017 Gonski allocation in Penrith to $11.9 million, with more funding going where it is needed most.

Cranebrook High School is receiving an extra $257,000 in 2017, bringing their total slice of the $219 million across NSW to $1.55 million.

Relieving Principal Craig Dunne said the extra funding will allow the school to hire more staff to work closer with the 800 students at the school.

“We can employ specialist teachers to come in and work with the kids and hire more support staff,” he said.

“That increase in staffing allows the kids to access their curriculum more, and boosts their skills.”

Each year, schools assess their needs and work out their focus strategies for funding to be allocated accordingly.

“But, the bottom line is we have more money to support kids in classrooms,” Mr Dunne said.

Mr Ayres said the needs at Cranebrook High are very different to the needs at Braddock Primary School next door, and the Government’s Resource Allocation Model (RAM) tailors to that.

“Every time the cohort changes in a school, the flexibility in this funding allows the school to prioritise what’s important to them,” he said.

“Cranebrook is a big school, so we expect it to be at the upper echelon of what the RAM money allocates.”

Craig Dunne and Stuart Ayres chat with journalist Dale Drinkwater. Photo: Melinda Jane
Craig Dunne and Stuart Ayres chat with journalist Dale Drinkwater. Photo: Melinda Jane

Kingswood Public School is to receive the second highest amount of RAM funding in 2017, increasing by $344,000 to $1.48 million.

Jamison High School is also in the millions at $1.07 million, an increase of $334,000.

Mr Ayres said every school in the Penrith electorate has an increase in RAM funding in 2017, and no school has gone backwards.

“Each community has different types of students, and also has their own challenges and opportunities, but this is a fantastic injection of funds into local schools,” he said.

The funding can be used at the school’s discretion, in any way that improves the students’ outcome, academically and socially.

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