Swan View Senior High School received a historic guest on Monday, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visiting the school to announce a $46.7 million-dollar injection into funding for Indigenous students.
As part of the needs-based funding reforms for schools, funding for Indigenous students will grow at the fastest rate of any State or Territory from $1,480 per student to $2,628.
The funding operates on a needs-based model by calculating the base amount students needed to succeed, with additional loadings for students who need additional support such as those with a disability or from Indigenous backgrounds.
As a result the total funding for all students in WA will jump by $652 million over the next four years and $1.7 billion over the next
For the first time in history, it means school funding is now standardised across all Australian states.
Prime Minister Turnbull, the first Prime Minister to visit Swan View Senior High School, was accompanied by Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt and Federal Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham in making the announcement.
Speaking to the collected media, he said WA schools had received a raw deal under the Labor government, and paid tribute to Mr Wyatt’s influence in the community.
“The Western Austrlaian schools and schools like this in particular got a very raw deal out of the 27 inconsistent secret deals that the previous Labor government stitched up on schools funding,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Western Australia had a really unfair deal…schools like this will see school funding per student double over the next ten years.
“It’s great to be here and see above all the enthusiasm of the students, their optimism, their energy, the great work the teachers are doing supported by families and a community which Ken is such a great leader, that is getting behind these kids and ensuring they can realise their dreams.
“They are going to follow and they are going to achieve their dreams.”
However before speaking to the media, the Prime Minister had to deal with much tougher customers in the form of the school’s students.
The PM took questions from students from the school’s specialist drama program, FAME, on the stage of their production of Lord Of The Flies – quite fitting, given the leadership dramas that have plagued Australian Federal politics in recent times.
He then proceeded to the library, where he fielded questions from Year 9 economics and history students.
The first question, regarding Mr Turnbull’s support of the Trump administration and the impact that may have on Australia’s relationship with our largest trade partner, China, showed that Swan View students are not afraid to ask the tough questions.
By Liam Ducey