Your Child, Our Future: ALP Releases Education Policy

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education Minister Kate Ellis have released the ALP’s education policy for this year’s election.

The policy is called Your Child, Our Future. It commits a Shorten government to reversing the Abbott/Turnbull government’s cuts and to deliver the six-year Gonski reforms on-time and in-full.

The ALP says it is committed “to fund a permanent and ongoing shift to needs-based funding” and “has provisioned $37.3 billion for the package over the decade from 2015-16 to 2025-26”. This includes the commitment to fund years five and six of Gonski, which the Parliamentary Budget Office has costed at $4.5 billion.

The policy says: “This funding will be offset, over the forward estimates and the medium term, by existing improvements to the Budget proposed by Labor including making multinational companies pay their fair share of tax reforms to the taxation of multinational entities, reducing superannuation tax concessions for millionaires, increasing the changes to tobacco excise, ceasing the Emissions Reducation Fund, and not proceeeding with the Liberals’ new Baby Bonus.”

  • Watch Bill Shorten discuss the Education policy (1m)

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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.


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…]

Education Ministers Speak Out On Pyne’s School Funding Announcement

Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s state counterparts have criticised Pyne’s decision to pull out of the Gillard government’s Gonski school funding agreements.

The ministers spoke to the media after meeting with Pyne today. They included NSW minister Adrian Piccoli who has led the criticism of Pyne. The Australian Education Union’s Angelos Gavrielatos and parents’ organisations also weighed in on the announcement. [Read more…]

Pyne Abandons Gonski School Funding Agreements; New Arrangements After 2014

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has confirmed that the government will honour school funding commitments of the previous government for 2014 but will implement a new funding model after that.


Pyne was quizzed about the government’s abandonment of its commitment to the previous Labor government’s school funding agreements at a press conference today. [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…]