[LINK] Gonski Report into School Funding misses the point of the digital education revolution

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Mon Feb 20 19:41:56 AEDT 2012

The Australian Government released "Towards a new school funding system" 
(aka "Gonski Report") on 20 February 2012. The report was completed in 
December 2011, but release was delayed by the government for more than a 
month, without explanation. The report is 319 pages long, available both 
in PDF and DOCX formats (4Mbytes each): 

The report discusses how to fund "schools". This is a fundamental flaw 
in the report, as it fails to take into account the digital education 
revolution now taking place. The words "Internet" and "online" only 
occur twice each in the report. The phrase "Digital Education 
Revolution" is mentioned several times, but in reference to the 
government program of that name, not as something which is fundamentally 
changing the way education is delivered. Individual "schools" will 
continue to exist, but they will not be the primary way students are 
educated and so will not be a useful unit on which to base funding.

The an "Initial Government Response to the Review of Funding for 
Australian Schooling Report" is also available: 

The Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett is holding a School 
Funding Forum on 22 February 2012 in Canberra, on-line web streaming and 
Twitter: #schoolsfunding: 

I have registered for the event. One of my jobs at the Commonwealth 
Schools Commission, used to be programming the survey of non-government 
schools, running hundreds of different "what if" calculations of 
different funding models and then the actual payments to the schools. 
The newly proposed system presents some new challenges for whoever 
programs it now.

Here is are the Executive Summary, Recommendations and Findings 
extracted from the report (with the formatting tidied up): 

Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

More information about the Link mailing list