Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP, reveals education funding and reforms that seek to benefit all students; and the establishment of a new institute that aims to drive various improvements.
The Australian Government believes that every Australian child, no matter where they live, should have access to a world-class education.
Our Government is providing record funding to ensure all Australian students have the opportunity to reach their potential. We are also implementing important reforms that ensure our record funding delivers the best outcomes.
The Quality Schools package will see more than $310 billion provided to all schools – an extra $37 billion, an increase of 62 per cent per student.
Every state and territory government has signed up to the National School Reform Agreement that commits the Australian Government and the states and territories to work together to implement the reforms recommended by David Gonski that will improve our nation’s education system.
In response, the Australian Government will be collecting better data to improve the national evidence base. We will create a unique student identifier so that students can be better supported no matter where they live. This will enable us to track the performance of all students, including rural and regional students, to provide a clear indication of where students may be lagging, and what can be done to address that.
We will also establish a new national evidence institute to drive improvements in teaching practice, school systems and policies. The institute’s work will identify ‘good practice’ in our classrooms and translate it into practical tools to ensure it becomes ‘common practice’ throughout Australia’s teaching profession. But our work does not stop there.
Every parent will tell you the best asset in their school is the teachers. We want to attract more high-quality teachers into classrooms by expanding the successful Teach for Australia program to target the next generation of school leaders. The Australian Government will invest an additional $15 million to train more high-achieving teachers to work in rural, remote or disadvantaged schools.
We will ensure that teaching students learn how to teach phonics for use in the classroom to improve literacy.
It is vital that teachers receive the support they need to succeed. The Australian Government is backing our teachers so they can focus on teaching. We are tasking the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership to develop a National Strategy to support schools to tackle the abuse of teachers in the classroom.
We will work hard to ensure that principals and teachers are free from excessive red tape, giving them more time to focus on teaching their students.
As part of the Australian Curriculum review due to occur in 2020, the Australian Government will also place on the COAG Education Council agenda a review of the compliance and regulation that teachers face.
The Australian Government has established a $30 million Local School Community Fund to support local government, Catholic and Independent schools with specific projects to benefit students and local school communities. We will provide $200,000 to each federal electorate to support priority projects in schools, such as IT upgrades for a specific cohort of students, excursions for students from remote areas, sporting facilities, or equipment for students with explicit needs.
Our Government understands how important it is that all children and young people in Australia learn to become digitally literate in a safe and supportive environment, and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage digital systems and combat risks.
But we also know that, increasingly, student wellbeing inside and outside the classroom is becoming an issue for parents and teachers, particularly as we see the rise of cyberbullying and the inappropriate use of new technology.
The Australian Government wants every child to feel safe and happy at school. We also want to ensure that our children are concentrating in class so they can get the best possible education. We will work with the states and territories on best practice policies on mobile phone use in classrooms.
Our Government wants to bring out experts from France and Ontario, Canada – where they have put in place bans on mobile phones in schools – to provide advice and guidance to state and territory governments as to how schools could go about limiting the use of mobile phones in the classroom.
Through these initiatives, the Australian Government is helping ensure every child achieves their full potential every year they are at school.
We will continue to work hard to make sure no child is held back by disadvantage.
From our record funding to all schools to our support for teachers, the Australian Government has a plan to ensure every Australian child, no matter there they go to school, gets the world-class education they deserve.