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Canberra Australian Parliament House. iStock: Mlenny.

The ‘who’s who’ of Clare’s ministerial reference group

Education Minister Jason Clare's Ministerial Reference Group met with education leaders in Canberra to discuss upcoming Australian school reforms.

The reference group, led by former Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O'Brien, held its first meeting with a select mix of teachers, principals, students, unions and parent organisations.

At the group's first meeting, Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe advocated for the funding needs of Australian public schools to be met.

Dr Lisa O'Brien, Ministerial Reference Group chair. Picture: Supplied.

According to Haythorpe, “98 per cent of public schools are currently funded below the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS)."

The SRS is a tool used to estimate the total funding a school needs in order to meet the educational needs of its students.

The SRS base amount is demand-driven with additional loadings for schools with students with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, aslong iwth students with socio-educational disadvantage and low-English proficiency.

Haythorpe's mission is to establish equitable resourcing for Australian schools and to break the link between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor outcomes education outcomes.

"One in every 10 public school students is effectively not funded. In the Northern Territory, it’s one in every five,” Haythorpe said.

Correna Haythorpe, Australian Education Union federal president. Picture: Supplied.

Other members of the MRG include Albert Park College's numeracy teacher Rachael Gore.

A recipient of the the 2021 Victorian Education Excellence Awards (VEEA) 'Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award', Gore was "honoured to be representing Victorian teachers as a member of the Ministerial Reference Group for the NSRA."

An advocate for teaching students the tools and skills they need to be prepared for careers in mathematics, Gore is revolutionising eucation through innovative implementation of new technologies in the classroom.

"May we continue to work torwards an education system that improves education outcomes, supports student health and wellbeing, supports and retains teachers, and improves transparency and accountability around funding" Gore said.

The MRG will continue to act as a sounding board on reform policies beyond the release of the interim report.

The Expert Panel, chaired by will deliver their final report to education ministers by 31 October.

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