The Labor Government has already achieved some big reforms in education. We have doubled funding to Australian schools compared to the Howard Government. We have modernised facilities in every school across the country. We are implementing a national curriculum and national teacher standards, investing in better teacher training, giving more decision-making power to principals and providing more information to parents through the My School website. We have also increased the funding that is available to schools in disadvantaged communities.
The Government wants to make sure our school funding system is supporting every school to deliver a high quality education for every child. We asked Mr David Gonski AC to lead the first review into national school funding in almost 40 years.
The Report found that the way our schools are funded at the moment is complicated and is not focused on getting the best results for students. The Report made 41 recommendations for school funding reform. The Report also made clear that further work needed to be done before its recommendations could be implemented.
The Government undertook the further work identified in the Report to test and further develop the proposed funding model. This additional work took place in close collaboration with the education community, including those authorities that run schools – the States and Territories, the Catholic system and Australia’s independent schooling sector.
The Better Schools Plan will deliver around $15 billion for Australian schools over the next six years.
It will deliver more individual attention for kids, and continued reform on the prime factors we know drive better student outcomes – quality teaching and learning and empowered school leadership.
The Coalition has trashed the Better Schools Plan every step of the way and described it as a con, a plan they would never support.
New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, the ACT, the Independent and Catholic sectors have signed up to the Better Schools Plan. This brings the number of students covered by the Plan to almost 80 per cent.
The Australian public needs to be mindful of the fact that four of the top five school systems in the world are in our region (Hong Kong, Korea, Shanghai and Singapore) – and we want to match them.
Interestingly, highly skilled jobs are growing at 2.5 times the rate of unskilled jobs.
The future education needs of Australian children demands 100 per cent commitment to the Better Schools Plan.
The Report, and the Government’s initial response, are available to read at www.schoolfunding.gov.au. The website also includes opportunities for you to have your say on the future of school funding in Australia.