$30 billion for education
4 December 2018 Education Issues
The State Government has signed up to the Federal Government’s new national agreement for schools funding after months of negotiation.
Education Minister Sue Ellery said WA schools would have a record $30 billion flow into the State’s education system over the next six years.
The Federal Government will contribute $5.6 billion in education spending for 2018-23, while the State Government would provide $24.36 billion.
Ms Ellery said the package ensured about $200 million of additional funding would flow into the public education system over the life of the agreement, positioning WA to keep its status as the best-funded State public education system.
Under the deal, WA has committed to delivering reforms flagged in the Gonski 2.0 report, including enhanced measures to individually assess student progress.
The Gonski 2.0 report, released by businessman David Gonski in May, claimed the education system had “failed a generation of Australian schoolchildren”.
Favouring personalised learning and teaching based on each student’s needs, it called for an end to the “industrial model” of mass education and a curriculum that targeted a student’s personal achievement regardless of their age.
“Some of the reforms that we negotiated as part of the Gonski 2.0 include better ways to individually assess students’ progress, using programs like Brightpath,” Ms Ellery said.
Other reforms included a leadership strategy to support principals, more funding for science, technology, engineering and maths education, embedding an Aboriginal cultural standards framework and a public school review process.
Ms Ellery said WA had taken a hard line in negotiations, maintaining it would only adopt recommendations from the Gonski report that suited the State’s needs. For example, she said the original Gonski report discussed reviewing aspects of the school curriculum.
“Curriculum in Australia has been through a lot of changes recently, and I wasn’t interested in revisiting that,” she said.
Ms Ellery said it was an “historic” funding agreement for WA schools, but noted Federal Labor had promised an additional $501 million over three years if it wins next year’s Federal election.
“The new agreement will allow WA to continue as the best funded State for education in the country,” she said.