Government Backflips On School Funding; 4-Year Agreement With $1.2 Billion Restored

The federal government has announced a school funding agreement with the states that maintains the four-year agreements entered into by the Labor government and restoring $1.2 billion removed from the Budget Estimates prior to the election.

Abbott-Pyne

The government’s backflip was announced just before today’s Question Time at a joint press conference by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne. It follows days of criticism from state governments and lobby groups after last week’s announcement that the Gonski funding deals would be abandoned after 2014. [Read more…]


Gonski: Gillard Announces New School Funding Arrangements

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced new school funding arrangments in response to the Gonski report.

Julia Gillard

 

The funding changes will start in 2014, after the next election. Major changes will be phased in over the years to 2020. [Read more…]


Abbott Sceptical That Gonski Is “Doable At This Time”

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is not convinced that the school funding recommendations of the Gonski report are “doable”.

Addressing the Heads of Independent Schools in Canberra today, Abbott said: “I have to say to you..that while I am strongly supportive of reasonable steps to boost funding in education and while I am deeply desirous of better schools, both independent and state schools, I am deeply sceptical that Gonski is doable at this time, given all the other fiscal demands that state and Commonwealth governments face.”

Tony Abbott

Abbott’s speech on school funding came under attack from Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Question Time. An exchange between the two leaders led to Abbott being kicked out of the House for one hour.

Text of Tony Abbott’s Address to the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia and Independent Schools Council of Australia National Forum, Canberra.

I’ve got to say that I have been very lucky as a human being in the education that I have received. Starting off at school – Holy Family Convent, Saint Aloysius’ College, Saint Ignatius’ College and then at Sydney University, Oxford University, and St Patrick’s College, Manly – I have been very personally lucky in those who have educated me.

Next to my father, the person who I believe has had the most influence on my life, so far as least, was one of my teachers, the extraordinary Jesuit, Father Emmet Costello, who may well be known to some of you in this room. I recall as a strapping adolescent in Year 11 joking with the slender scholar in the playground and I said to Father Emmet, ‘you know, Emmet, I’m so strong that I could pick you up and put you in my top pocket’ and the distinguished Jesuit said, ‘yes and if you did that you’d have more brains in your top pocket that you’ve got in your head’. So, I learned early on not to match wits with teachers! [Read more…]


Gillard Promises Funding Increase To Independent Schools

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised that every independent school in the nation will receive an increase in funding.

Julia Gillard

Addressing the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Gillard defended private schools. She said: “I’ve never looked at a big independent school in an established suburb and thought ‘That’s not fair’. I look at a big independent school in an established suburb and thing ‘That’s a great example’.”

  • Listen to Gillard’s speech (20m)

Anglican And Catholic Archbishops Attack ALP’s Schools Policy

Anglican and Catholic archbishops have attacked the ALP’s schools policy in a statement released today.

Text of a media release on behalf of the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops of Sydney and Melbourne.

In response to the Australian Labor Party’s Schools Policy Great Australian Schools, we offer the following comments.

“We endorse strongly the principle of parents being free to choose the kind of education they want for their children. Parents may choose education provided by government schools or may choose a school that more closely supports their family’s values and beliefs. [Read more…]


Federal Government Re-Announces School Funding Plans

The Federal Government has announced a funding package for schools worth $31.3 billion over the next four years, but most of the money was allocated in last year’s budget.

Independent schools received a 47% increase in funding, whilst state schools got 27%. For the first time, independent schools will receive more federal money than state schools – $7.6 billion, compared with $7.2 billion.

Catholic schools will receive $12.6 billion.

The measures will only add about $100 million a year to the budget, compared to the budget announcements. [Read more…]