I’m looking forward to meeting with my state and territory colleagues today to discuss Australia’s future schools funding arrangements and the implementation of a true, sector-blind, needs-based model that wipes away the current hodge podge of 27 special deals that distort a fair allocation of money and support.
As former ‘Gonski Review’ author Ken Boston has said, the current arrangements Labor cooked up are a “corruption” of what David Gonski and his panel of experts recommended. Those wink-and-nod deals and secret handshakes must end.
The states should listen to what David Gonski said himself, when Prime Minister Turnbull and I announced our $18.6 billion reform plan:
“…I'm very pleased to hear that the Turnbull Government has accepted the fundamental recommendations of our 2011 report, and particularly regarding a needs-based situation… I'm very pleased that there is substantial additional money, even over indexation and in the foreseeable future…When we did the 2011 review, our whole concept was that there would be a school’s resource standard which would be nominated and we nominated one, and I'm very pleased that the Turnbull Government has taken that.”
David Gonski AC, Media Conference, 2/5/17
The Turnbull Government is presenting an historic opportunity to end the schools funding wars with a detailed plan for record and growing levels of federal funding that, based on the individual need of each school, is delivered equitably across states and equitably across non-government sectors.
Our policy has won the endorsement of many educators, academics, think tanks and parents. I have been heartened when speaking with teachers, principals and families over the past fortnight as I’ve toured schools in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Our plan means every government or non-government school will receive a common federally funded share of the Gonski-recommended Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) within a decade. It will bring transparency, consistency and a truly needs-based approach to funding that has never before been achieved.
From each of their different starting points under the current mess of different deals, each school will steadily transition to the relevant equal share of their needs-based SRS. Those who currently receive the least will enjoy the fastest rates of growth.
More than 4,500 mostly government schools will benefit from certain growth in their per student funding of more than five per cent every year, for ten years.
Over the last two weeks we have released our budget details and outlined what our additional $18.6 billion would mean for every school, making that information publicly available at education.gov.au/qualityschools. We have introduced detailed legislation, to lock this plan into law and give schools long term funding certainty. And we have given states, territories and non-government school authorities detailed modelling tools, enabling them to assess the benefits against projected population growth or other demographic changes.
Australia’s education ministers have an opportunity to deliver real, fair, needs-based funding for schools instead of pursuing more special deals and peddling false scare campaigns. Our reforms will see funding grow in every jurisdiction, from already-record levels, well above inflation or wages growth. I want to work constructively with the states in the interests of current and future generations of students and I hope they bring an equally constructive mindset.
Additional annual recurrent funding under the Quality Schools funding model, by state
|Additional annual funding by 2021 ($m)
|Additional annual funding by 2027 ($m)
Note: Recurrent funding only. Additional funding is compared to 2017 Commonwealth funding.
Source: Department of Education and Training modelling, as at 2017-18 Budget.
Further details of the Turnbull Government’s plan to transform schools available here and at www.education.gov.au/qualityschools