News National Ministers disappointed after schools talks

Ministers disappointed after schools talks

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State and territory education ministers say the federal government has given them no certainty on future schools funding.

The ministers met with federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne in Sydney on Friday.

NSW education minister Andrew Piccoli described the meeting as “passionate and heated”.

“All in all the ministers are very disappointed (that there was) no greater clarity over what the Commonwealth is proposing,” Mr Piccoli told reporters.

Mr Piccoli said there was majority support among the ministers for a needs-based funding system, in line with the recommendations adopted by the former federal Labor government from the Gonski review.

There was also majority agreement that deals already signed between Labor and the states be honoured and that those states that didn’t sign get funded – but not at the expense of others.

Mr Pyne this week announced the new coalition government would only honour one year of the four-year funding agreements in place and allocate a further $230 million in 2014 to the states that did not sign onto the so-called Gonski scheme.

Labor made deals with NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, as well as independent and Catholic schools, but Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory held out.