Local MPs call on Barry O'Farrell to invest in education

14 April 2013

Sharon Bird, Federal Member for Cunningham, and Stephen Jones, Federal Member for Throsby, today welcomed the Prime Minister’s plan for proper resourcing of all our classrooms, teachers and schools for generations to come.

The National Plan for School Improvement will establish a new, fairer school funding approach, based on the needs of individual students and linked to reforms that will improve school performance.

“Our Government is serious about the next stage of schooling reform in Australia.  We want to see a fair funding system in place so that every school gets the money it needs to give every child the individual help they need to reach their potential,” Sharon Bird said.

For every extra dollar that state and territory governments invest in schools, the Federal Government will effectively invest two.  Over the next six years, this additional funding will include $5 billion for NSW – bringing total public investment in NSW schools to $87 billion (or 29% of the national public investment in schools) over 2014-19.

This is on top of the extra funding that will be secured for every state and every sector if the states and territories agree to more stable indexation of current school spending. 

“This extra funding for schools will help pay for things like specialist teachers, literacy and numeracy coaches and teachers’ aides.  It will help develop personalised learning plans for struggling students,” Stephen Jones said.

The Government has also today made a commitment to state and territory governments to an annual growth in school education spending of 4.7 per cent – provided states commit to grow their own school budgets by 3 per cent a year.

In return for this significant extra funding, the Commonwealth is asking states and territories to:

• Maintain current school spending and stop education cuts and funding freezes
• Commit to a 3 per cent growth in school funding, every year
• Invest the share needed in their state or territory to fairly fund every schools
• Sign a new National Education Reform Agreement which sets out the new funding approach and national school improvement reforms

The plan, developed with Education Ministers, includes:
• Higher entry standards for the teaching profession, annual performance assessments and ongoing training and support
• More individual support for students, including through an early years reading blitz and personalised learning plans
• Empowerment of school principals to lead improvement in teaching learning, supported by experts.
• More information for parents and stronger partnerships with communities to support student achievement.

We call on New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, to agree to the National Plan, including new school funding arrangements, at the meeting of the Council of Australian Governments on 19 April 2013.

More information about our plan is available at www.betterschools.gov.au