Delivering a world-class education
Every child deserves a world-class education.
That’s why Labor commissioned the independent Gonski review of school funding that has guided the National Plan for School Improvement.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell reached an historic agreement that will help to place Australian schools into the top five in the world in reading, numeracy and science by 2025.
Under the agreement reached, 65 per cent of schools funding will come from the Federal Government. This means that NSW schools will gain an additional $5 billion, benefiting over 1.1 million students. The Federal Government will pay $3.27 billion and the NSW Government $1.76 billion, representing a 35 per cent funding increase for NSW schools.
As a result of yesterday’s agreement we will see:
- Greater entry requirements for the teaching profession;
- Increased teaching support and standards;
- School improvement plans and reports;
- Implementation of The Australian Curriculum;
- Principals gaining further training and greater authority over their schools;
- A priority focus on reading education for kindergarten to Year 2 students; and
- Provision of Asian language studies across all schooling years.
Benchmark funding for school students will be based on the cost of educating students at schools already achieving quality results. Under the Plan, schools will receive $9,271 for every primary school student, and $12,193 for every secondary school student, with additional funding, ‘loadings’, for students from lower income families, Indigenous students, students with disability, rural and remote students, students at small schools, and students from non-English speaking backgrounds.
The Plan will be phased in over six years from 2014 so that schools have time to adjust, with funding flowing from 2014.
The Federal Labor Government has already delivered record funding to Newcastle’s education sector, with over $150 million invested into new buildings and facilities upgrades in 63 schools, Trade Training Centre facilities that benefit students across 14 high schools, 8,843 computers into local schools and National Solar Schools projects into 24 schools. Our Government has provided substantial partnership funding to 16 local schools in order to lift basic skills. Hunter TAFE has also benefited from over $22 million from the Federal Labor Government for facility improvements and special projects.
This record investment into schools education, coupled with the recent announcement of $30 million in Federal funding for the University of Newcastle’s inner-city campus, demonstrates Federal Labor’s commitment to Newcastle’s future as a centre for knowledge and education excellence.