PM's old school backs funding action

THE principal of Julia Gillard's alma mater, Unley High School, will today present the Prime Minister with a large cardboard cut-out of a raised hand in support of action on school funding.

A sea of hands with the names of all 6700 public schools will also be placed on the grass outside Parliament House in Canberra to mark six months since the release of the Gonski review into school funding.

Susan Cameron, the principal of Unley High in Adelaide, said the campaign was about trying to get all politicians to support the recommendations of the Gonski review.

''For whatever reasons, the current funding models have moved away from the egalitarian values we think are so important in Australia,'' Ms Cameron said

She said the Gonski report focused on funding to ensure disadvantaged students, including those with disabilities and those from rural and Aboriginal communities, could achieve at the highest level.

''Australia's future depends on every young person having a high quality education.'' Thousands of the hands have been signed by school principals, parents and union representatives.

''We need action on Gonski now, not more words,'' Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos said.

''The federal government must take the lead by outlining its response and the financial commitment it is prepared to make. Then we need the state and territory governments to play their part and enter into genuine negotiations for a new funding agreement.''

Mr Gavrielatos said the Gonski recommendations would provide, on average, an extra $1500 per student each year.

"This additional funding will allow us to do the things we know will benefit students, such as reducing class sizes, improving the skills and expertise of teachers and providing more support for those students who need it.''

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