From left: Patrick Byrnes, Mark Willacy, and Andrew Playford talk about Gonski programs in their school
From left: Patrick Byrnes, Mark Willacy, and Andrew Playford talk about Gonski programs in their school Cathryn Mclauchlan

Schools celebrate the difference Gonski funding has made

BALLINA High School held a morning tea and assembly yesterday to highlight the long list of programs utilising Gonski funding.

The celebrations are part of National Gonski Week, which runs until November 1.

Teacher librarian Andrew Playford led the day's events.

He said it was important that Gonski-funded programs kept going.

"We give all students in Year 7 an iPad and we subsidise the iPads so kids get them really cheap," Mr Playford said.

"A bus ... for drivers to take kids to Southern Cross School and back to Ballina two times a day, so we can offer more subjects.

"And it's really good to have a transition program, especially since we have a lot of small schools."

Teacher Patrick Byrnes said the transition program helped students fit in and excel in school.

"The idea there is to welcome you to high school so you can make the most out of the opportunities provided to you," he said.

Ballina mayor David Wright shared his thoughts as mayor, teacher and former student at Ballina High School.

"Schools need as much funding as they can get," he said.

"This school will get 40 million dollars spent here which will make a huge difference ... they'll have the best buildings in the country, but you can't always rely on a new school to be built."

In February the NSW Government announced that $40 million would go towards building a new school at the Ballina High School site.

The school would cater to Ballina High students and secondary students from Southern Cross School.

Gonski funding began in 2014 after an independent review warned too many children missed out on education due to a lack of resources.

The review was led by businessman David Gonski.

Last week a $113 million boost to the NSW Gonski reforms was announced to help disadvantaged students even further.

The additional funding comes on top of $860 million already committed to funding school resources in 2016.

Evans River K-12 School will be hosting a Gonski information session at 6pm on November 4 for the community.



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