THE lawns of Parliament House were covered with more than 6700 paper hands yesterday, marking six months since the release of the Gonski review into school funding in Australia.
Including schools in the Ballarat region, each of the cardboard hands were signed by school principals, parents and union representatives.
The demonstration came on the same day Prime Minister Julia Gillard said all schools would receive a funding boost recommended by businessman David Gonski in his December review.
With the government expected to announce its response to the review in two weeks, Ballarat's director of Catholic education Audrey Brown said the 212 schools in the Victorian Catholic system were concerned about funding levels.
"The Australian government's own figures indicate that 212 Victorian Catholic schools would be worse off but we are not sure at this stage which schools in the Diocese of Ballarat will be affected," she said.
Ms Brown called for any chance to include real-term indexation, allowing schools to keep fees at current levels, and said the network was open to accountability measures that could be introduced.
Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos called for action.
"The federal government must take the lead by outlining its response and the financial commitment it is prepared to make ," he said.
He said the state and federal governments must then enter into genuine funding talks.