Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has today announced that Government schools in the Kiama electorate will be able to improve education resources and support for students with $8.6 million in needs-based funding allocated for 2018.

Mr Ward said that the funding will be available to address the specific needs of schools. Schools may choose to implement initiatives such as targeted literacy and numeracy support, teacher training and speech pathologists.

“Kiama Public School has used RAM funding to develop a unique primary school experience incorporating a garden with an animal farm, science room and outdoor kitchen to make science relevant, practical and engaging,” he said.

“Students and the community have ownership of the program and survey data shows high levels of engagement and support.

“All Kiama Public School staff have received coaching that has been highly effective for observations and Professional Development Plans.

“Non-teaching staff have embraced this strategy to ensure a whole school focus on continuous improvement in professional practice. The coaching has empowered staff in leading and supporting beginning teachers.

Mr Ward also welcomed the funding increase for local schools.

“This $8.6 million funding in 2018 will give schools across the Kiama electorate the freedom to meet the specific needs of students and our local community,” he said.

“I am very pleased that the New South Wales Government is delivering the extra resources our local schools need to provide the high-quality education our children need and deserve.

“As a strong supporter of Gonski, I have seen first-hand the difference that this additional funding is having in our classrooms and I will continue to fight for additional funding and resources to give each child the very best start in life,” Mr Ward said.

The NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said providing school funding on a needs basis was vital to getting the best possible educational outcomes.

“The combination of funding increases and changes will enable schools to sharpen their focus even more on catering for the specific academic and wellbeing needs of their individual students,” Mr Stokes said.

Schools across NSW will receive a record $1.09 billion in needs-based funding in 2018. This includes $80 million in additional funding, which is an 8 per cent increase from 2017.