Resourcing all our kids, classrooms and teachers for the future

Joint Media Release
  • Prime Minister of Australia
  • Minister for School Education
  • Minister for Early Childhood and Youth

The Gillard Government has today set out its plan for proper resourcing of all our classrooms, teachers and schools for generations to come, to take Australian schools into the top five in the world.

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.

For every extra dollar that state and territory governments invest in schools, we will effectively invest two.

The Prime Minister has set out a goal for Australian schools to be among the world’s top five in reading, numeracy and science by 2025. A world class school system is a key part of a strong economy for the future.

The Gillard Government is offering to pay 65 per cent of the additional investment needed to fund all schools properly and reach our goals.

Under this plan, schools across the country will benefit from an extra $14.5 billion in public investment over the next six years along with better indexation.

Over six years, this will involve an estimated $9.4 billion in extra Commonwealth funding, along with indexation at a higher rate than would otherwise be the case.

This new money will help schools pay for specialist teachers and modern resources. It will make sure every school is properly funded and will help give our kids the best start in life.

The extra investment brings the total public funding for schools to $49.5 billion a year on average, over the six years.

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
  • $4 billion for VIC – bringing total public investment in VIC schools to $68 billion (or 23%) over 2014–19
  • $3.8 billion for QLD – bringing total public investment in QLD schools to $65 billion (or 22%) over 2014–19
  • $300 million for WA – bringing total public investment in WA schools to $38 billion (or 13%) over 2014–19
  • $600 million for SA – bringing total public investment in SA schools to $21 billion (or 7%) over 2014–19
  • $400 million for TAS – bringing total public investment in TAS schools to $7 billion (or 2%) over 2014–19
  • $100 million for ACT – bringing total public investment in ACT schools to $5 billion (or 2%) over 2014–19
  • $300 million for NT– bringing total public investment in NT schools to $5 billion (or 2%) 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. 

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 Schooling Resource Standard (SRS)

The new funding approach is based on the core recommendations of the independent Gonski review, including a per-student amount and extra money for disadvantaged schools and students.

The per student amount for 2014 will be $9271 for primary school students and $12,193 for secondary school students. These are based on the average costs of high performing schools.

Loadings will also be provided for students from low SES backgrounds, Indigenous students, students with disability, students with limited English proficiency, small schools, and school location. All loadings will be fully publicly funded.

A loading for students with disability will be introduced when a nationally consistent definition based on accurate data is available.

While it is being developed, the Gillard Government will extend its current commitment to More Support for Students with Disabilities.

The extra money and the new funding approach will be phased in over six years. This makes the new investment sustainable and gives schools and systems time to adjust and make long-term plans.

Without this plan, Australia faces a crisis in school funding, with state governments cutting back, school performance declining and sectors forced into devastating conflict over diminishing resources.

A national approach to school funding

The Gillard Government will use the SRS settings to calculate all Commonwealth funding provided to school education authorities, who will then distribute this money to schools.

Government and non-government education authorities will have flexibility to implement their own needs-based school funding systems, reflecting their own priorities and circumstances.

Different approaches will be evaluated for their consistency in addressing student need and for student outcomes.

Every distribution system will be approved by the Commonwealth to make sure it is consistent with the SRS.

The distribution of public funding for every school will be published on the My School website, so that parents and the wider community can see how resourcing relates to student need.

This will give education providers flexibility to make the best decisions for their schools while ensuring the schools and students who need more help are getting it.

National Plan for School Improvement

School funding reform is a central part of the National Plan for School Improvement, based on the five core reform areas of quality teaching, quality learning, school empowerment, meeting student need, and accountability and transparency.

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.

This plan is essential for a strong economy.

It will help every Australian child get the best education possible and secure a high-wage, high-skilled job.

It is a plan for our country’s future.

The Prime Minister is now calling on Premiers and Chief Ministers to agree 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.

For more information

Media line: (02) 6240 8667, media@employment.gov.au