Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during House of Representatives question time at Parliament House Canberra, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.
Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during House of Representatives question time at Parliament House Canberra, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013. ALAN PORRITT

Pyne defends ending Labor school reforms after 2014

EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has defended his decision to end Labor's school reforms after 2014, saying an international assessment shows "throwing more money at a problem does not fix it".

Mr Pyne made the comments during Question Time today, saying the Program for International Student Assessment showed marked declines in achievement in Australia's schools.

The assessment analyses school achievement data for more than half a million students in 65 countries around the world, then ranks the results.

Mr Pyne said the latest results showed Australian students had dropped from 15th to 19th in maths literacy, 10th to 16th in science and from 9th to 14th in reading.

He said the figures showed despite the previous government spending 10% more funding schools, actual results had fallen.

"Despite spending 44% more on education funding over the past decade results are still in decline," he said.

"This clearly shows that more funding does not equate to better outcomes."

However, Labor argued the decline in achievement showed there was an urgent need for more equitable funding for schools, a position endorsed by the education union.

Union deputy federal president Correna Haythorpe said the Gonski Review had warned standards would slip unless there was an overhaul of school funding.

"Amid the constant back flips and chaos it remains impossible to determine whether they even care about the inequity in education and the social and economic cost of it," she said.

"The government must make a full six-year commitment to the more equitable funding arrangements contained in the Gonski law and agreements if schools are to be given the resources and time required to lift achievement levels and break the connection between disadvantage and poor outcomes."

Mr Pyne has already promised to propose wider school reforms, to be announced early next year, and to be implemented from 2015.


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