Surrey’s education department says it is struggling to fund an education for all pupils in the state, despite a new policy that says every school should have the option to teach a curriculum that supports pupils’ individual needs.
Surrey Education said it was “not a perfect” system of funding, but said it had made progress since the previous funding formula was introduced.
“There has been a change in the funding formula and it’s been a huge success,” said director of public services Michelle Deak.
The department says the current funding formula allocates more money to schools in areas where there are more pupils, while funding for local areas is redistributed to local schools based on the population of the district.
“We are currently working with local education providers to deliver a sustainable and accessible funding model,” Ms Deak said.
“We need to do this quickly to ensure that our school systems can meet the needs of the students who are eligible for our schools.”
The new funding formula means that Surrey schools will be able to provide a curriculum based on individual pupils’ needs, rather than the current allocation of funding based on enrolment.
Under the new funding model, Surrey schools and local education provider Surrey Education are responsible for developing a curriculum to meet the specific needs of each student.
“The Surrey Education curriculum is designed to meet local school needs and the needs and preferences of each child and is developed by a wide range of professional, professional and academic teams, which include local teachers, counsellors and parents,” the department said in a statement.
The government has announced the changes will take effect from July 1, but schools have been waiting for the government to release funding information for the past two months.
“Our students need a high-quality education, and we know the funding situation is challenging,” said Ms Deek.
Surrey’s local schools and Surrey Education have been working closely to develop the curriculum, but the department’s funding plans are still not in place.
The new system of education funding is designed by the state government and has been under discussion for the last two years.
“This funding will allow us to provide more opportunities for all our students to achieve their potential,” Ms deak said, “and we look forward to working with all our schools to ensure they receive the resources they need to meet their academic and life goals.”
Surrey also has the second highest number of pupils in Australia, after the ACT, with more than 16,000 students enrolled.