Give up on Gonski: Langbroek


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Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has called on the Gillard Government to give up on Gonski and “butt out” of education.

In a speech to more than 1200 state school principals today, Mr Langbroek said it was time to end the blame game and trust the states to set education policy and deliver outcomes.  

“Education should not be a central power; the states are in a better position to deliver it given our own unique circumstances,” he said.

“The Australian Government operates no schools. The Australian Government is responsible for no students. The Australian Government employs no teachers.

“The Federal Government should simply put the $15 billion they spend on education into the GST pot or similar and carve it up on the basis of population.”

Mr Langbroek said the Federal Government had a track record of meddling in education with little to no impact on student outcomes.  

“Despite an 87% increase in money from the Federal Government over the last 10 years, standards have continued to slide,” he said.

“It should ring alarm bells that anyone who has responsibility for a school is unanimously opposed to Gonski. The states are against it. The Catholics are against it. The Independents are against it.

“Part of the reason is that we do not like being told how to do our job by people with a horrible track record of doing theirs.”

He said the three biggest national partnerships in schooling since 2008 had cost taxpayers $21 billion, yet outcomes hadn’t improved.

“The Federal Government spent 11 times more on building schools halls than they did on improving outcomes at disadvantaged schools,” Mr Langbroek said.

“The Federal Government spent 32 times more on building school halls than they did on improving literacy and numeracy.

“The Federal Government spent 37 times more on building school halls than they did on improving teacher quality.

“Forgive us if we don’t want the Federal Government telling us how to do our job.”

Mr Langbroek said if the Federal Government wanted to influence education policy and invest in education outcomes it should enter into agreements with individual states based on their own circumstances and priorities.

Audio material can be found at:

Minister for Education, Training and Employment
The Honourable John-Paul Langbroek
28 February 2013


Queensland Government, Department of Education and Training :
PO Box 15033, City East Qld 4002, Brisbane
07 3237 0111
Queensland Government, Department of Education and Training

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