Schools: literacy and numeracy

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education. I am very glad to see that the minister has just arrived in the house, so I expect a prompt response to my concerns about reward funding under the National Partnership on Literacy and Numeracy that has still not been passed on to schools in my electorate. I ask that the funding granted by the commonwealth be distributed to the schools forthwith.

Like other schools that received this funding, Kambrya College in my electorate made great use of that funding last year. It employed a literacy coach, a numeracy coach and a leadership coach. Kambrya’s national assessment program — literacy and numeracy results improved markedly as a result. I understand that $140 000 has been allocated to Kambrya College to continue its terrific program.

The funding has been provided to the Victorian government — as is the usual practice — and should have been given to Kambrya College; however, I understand that under this government it is sitting in Treasury.

Our schools have an expectation that the national partnership funding will be used to continue their literacy and numeracy programs. The previous Victorian government made it clear that the reward funding paid to Victoria under the national partnership was to be used for educational purposes. A letter from the member for Melbourne, who was then the Minister for Education, to the then federal Minister for Education, the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, stated:

… it is the Victorian government’s intention that any reward funding paid to Victoria under the NPs will be used for educational purposes in consultation with the non-government school sectors.

The change of government that has taken place since should not change that. Schools have made plans and implemented programs in good faith and do not deserve to be given the run-around by the Baillieu government.

The principal and school council president of Kambrya College recently wrote to the Minister for Education expressing their disappointment and seeking an immediate solution. Their letter states:

Naturally, we were very disappointed at this lack of clarity at such a late stage of the year. We had continued to act in good faith and implement the programs that were so effective in 2010.
I urge the minister to disperse these funds as originally intended so that our financial commitments for 2011 can be met. We strongly believe that we have earned the ‘rewards money’ of this program and any review of our school data would verify this.

Every time I hear of yet another cut to education I am amazed and dismayed. I urge the minister to grant the national partnership funding to schools in my electorate as soon as possible. They are waiting for this — not just Kambrya College but Fountain Gate Primary School as well — —

Mr Watt interjected.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Burwood should just relax.

Ms GRALEY — They deserve the money.

The teachers have worked hard, and the kids deserve the best education possible.