A new report from leading international researchers highlights that appropriate levels of funding are important for good student performance, but what’s more important is how that funding is used.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the OECD’s 2016 Education at a Glance report highlighted that Australia has a world-class education system with world-leading funding but that there is clear room for improvement.

“From primary school to post-school learning, Australia ranks as spending the fifth highest amount on total public spending in education across the OECD but in several indicators we’ve seen our results slipping backwards,” Minister Birmingham said.

“These new statistics highlight what the Turnbull Government has been saying: that there is not a clear relationship between education spending and the level of student performance.

Higher levels of expenditure on education cannot automatically be equated with better performance by education systems. This is not surprising, as countries spending similar amounts on education do not necessarily have similar education policies and practices.
Source: OECD Education at a Glance 2016, page 267

“In Australian schools for example, the Turnbull Government is committed to a strong and growing level of funding for our school system distributed according to need, but we want to ensure the money supports students in ways the evidence shows are proven to lift outcomes. 

“The OECD statistics are the latest in a bank of evidence that supports the Turnbull Government’s moves to link our funding increases for schools to more than a dozen practical, ‘back to basics’ reforms in our education system that evidence shows will lift the performance of our schools.

“Our funding for schools will grow from $16 billion this year to around $20.1 billion in 2020 but those increases are complemented by a range of initiatives that have been proven to boost students’ literacy and numeracy skills, that will reward teachers for their competency and achievement not just their length of service, help us to identify and intervene with Year 1 students who need additional help and give families more transparency so they can monitor their children’s progress and better support them.

“From the high chair to higher education, it is our responsibility as policymakers to ensure Australia’s world class investment in early education and care, in schooling, vocational and other post-school education supports initiatives that are proven to boost outcomes for students.”

The OECD’s 2016 Education at a Glance Report is available at: http://www.oecd.org/edu/education-at-a-glance-19991487.htm