The latest report commissioned by the Australian Education Union has found exactly what they wanted it to find while ignoring the Turnbull Government’s focus on the evidence based measures that improve education outcomes.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said Australia’s education spending is at record levels that the OECD acknowledges as above the average.

Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government knows that while having a strong level of funding matters, which we have in Australia, what you do with it matters even more.

“Evidence tells us to focus on the quality of teachers and teaching; the teaching of reading and maths; and the engagement of parents. That's exactly what the Turnbull Government is doing,” Minister Birmingham said.

The facts on schools funding

  • Over the ten years since 2005, Australia’s GDP, our economy, has grown by 66 per cent in nominal terms, while over a similar timeframe Commonwealth spending for schools has increased by 97 per cent in nominal terms. That’s a growth in spending on schools that is 47 per cent more than economic growth
  • Since 2000 we’ve slipped from 4th to 14th in the OECD’s rankings of reading literacy, 11th to 19th in mathematics and 8th to 16th in science
  • In OECD results Australia spends more than Finland, New Zealand, Korea and China for example, yet sits behind all of them in international rankings for education outcomes.  The OECD has examined PISA results across countries and for comparable economies funding levels are unrelated to outcomes
  • Since 1988 student enrolments have increased by only 18 per cent, but state and federal governments have doubled the amount of money being put into education, even when you account for inflation
  • What this all shows is that our results have declined even though our funding has increased and our investment in schools is at record levels.

    “Labor and the unions may want a debate purely about funding but after decades of significant funding growth yet declining performance we believe it's more important to focus attention on the measures that can actually reverse our declining student outcomes,” Minister Birmingham said.

    “The Turnbull Government’s $69.4 billion funding to schools is going to continue to increase from its current record levels, despite the scare campaign being peddled by Labor and the unions, and will continue to be distributed according to need.

    “That means there is no reason schools won’t be able to continue to support teachers and existing initiatives, such as specialist teachers or additional resources.”