Students at Marsden State High School serving up morning tea for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Students at Marsden State High School serving up morning tea for Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Inga Williams

ACT jumps onboard the Gillard Government's Gonski train

THE Australian Capital Territory has joined New South Wales in striking a deal with the Federal Government on education reform.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher announced the deal during a visit to Lyneham High School in Canberra.

Ms Gillard said the deal, worth an additional $190 million for ACT schools over the next six years, would benefit 62,000 students.

But it appears at least one of them is not grateful for the Gonski windfall.

For the second time in a month Ms Gillard had a sandwich thrown at her by a student.

But the Prime Minister laughed the incident off during a press conference, saying the thrower "must have thought I was hungry".

Marsden State High School student Kyle Marsden, 16, was suspended for 15 days after lobbing a sandwich at the PM earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the ACT's decision to sign up to the Gonski reforms drew praise from unions and the Greens.

The Australian Education Union federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said the announcement increased pressure on the remaining state and territory leaders to follow suit.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell shocked many when he struck a deal with the Federal Government in April on education reform.

"There is no reason for further delays by any state or territory leader. They have the opportunity to make a real difference to the quality of education every Australian child can expect to receive," Mr Gavrielatos said.

News of the ACT deal came on the same day federal Education Minister Peter Garrett revealed schools in regional Australia would receive $6 billion of the $14 billion Gonski pie.


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