Landmark deal for WA public schools’ funding - Education Matters Magazine
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Landmark deal for WA public schools’ funding

Western Australia will be the first state in Australia where all public schools are fully funded, following a landmark agreement.

On 31 January, the Australian and Western Australian Governments signed a Statement of Intent to increase funding for all public schools in Western Australia from 95 per cent of the School Resourcing Standard (SRS) to 100 per cent by 2026.

Under the agreement, the most disadvantaged public schools in WA will be fully funded first. This represents an additional $777.4 million investment by the Commonwealth Government in Western Australian public schools from 2025 to 2029.

As part of the landmark deal, the WA Government commits to investing at least an equivalent amount over this period, bringing total additional investment in public schools to $1.6 billion.

Currently, the Commonwealth provides 20 per cent of the funding for public schools. This will now increase to 21.25 per cent in 2025 and to 22.5 per cent in 2026 in Western Australia.

The Western Australian Government, as the primary funders of WA public schools, will contribute 77.5 per cent of the funding.

The Statement of Intent provides a basis for the negotiation of the next National School Reform Agreement and associated bilateral agreement, which will tie funding to reforms that will help students catch up, keep up and finish school.

Currently, no public school in Australia, except for schools in the ACT, is at the full funding level.

The Commonwealth Government is committed to working with all states and territories to get all public schools on a path to 100 per cent of the SRS.

Commonwealth Minister for Education Jason Clare said Western Australia’s decision to work with the Australian Government to fully fund public schools will deliver a better and fairer education system for the West.

“The Statement of Intent underlines our shared commitment to put all WA schools on a pathway to full and fair funding and invest in the reforms that will help children catch up, keep up and finish school,” he said.

“I look forward to working with all states and territories to properly fund our schools and build a better and fairer education system for all Australians.”

WA Minister for Education Dr Tony Buti said the agreement will create a stronger public education system in WA.

“The increase in funding will drive real improvements in outcomes for all students, especially for students from low socio−economic backgrounds; regional, rural, and remote Australia; students with disability; First Nations students and students from a language background other than English,” Dr Buti said.

“Any reforms will focus on improving equity and excellence in schools, supporting the wellbeing of students and teachers, and providing a strong and sustainable workforce of teachers and non-teaching school staff.”

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