This week’s top story: The Educator magazine’s 2016 Hot List was revealed, recognising key individuals and their accomplishments. Although the 40 individuals named on the list come from a range of professional backgrounds, from principals of local schools to founders of online portals to those dedicated to improving teacher well-being, they all share a common goal of improving Australian education and have dedicated their careers to doing so. “We have been overwhelmed by the response that we have received, with nominations coming in for influential education professionals across the country,” said Iain Hopkins, managing editor of The Educator. “It attests to the outstanding efforts of those working in a broad range of educational institutions in Australia.”
In other news, new school funding figures revealed glaring inconsistencies across the nation under the Gonski model. The analysis of last year’s Federal funding data for the nation’s 6,602 primary and secondary public schools by The Australian shows on average, public schools receive $828,656 – about 16.1% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS). In a statement on Monday, Save Our Schools’ national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that special deals have corrupted private school funding and provide more than $3bn a year in over-funding. “Much of this over-funding goes to schools that serve the wealthiest families in Australia. It would be much more effectively used to support disadvantaged schools in both the public and private sectors,” he said.
Finally, a revolutionary program that aims to improve the outcomes for some of the state's most marginalised students is being rolled out with the support of one of Australia's largest family foundations. The Fair Education Program will provide funding to individual schools, or school clusters, to deliver evidence-based projects that improve how families and the wider school community engage in student learning. The program is being delivered by national not-for-profit organisation Australian Schools Plus with $5m in financial support from the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), a respected charitable trust strongly committed to increasing education equity. It was developed by the VFFF Board and staff, led by chairman, Tim Fairfax AC, and CEO, Jenny Wheatley, following a year of research and consultation with education experts.