The Australian and South Australian Governments have today reached an historic agreement which will benefit around 250,000 students across South Australia by delivering long-term improvements in every school across every schooling sector.
South Australia has now joined New South Wales and the ACT in signing the National Education Reform Agreement which will drive the reforms we need for Australia to be in the top five countries for reading, maths and science by 2025.
The agreement will ensure that funding arrangements will now be based on the needs of individual students and individual schools and it will also incorporate the National Plan for School Improvement which will drive continued reform and improvement in the areas we know drive better student outcomes.
This agreement will increase public funding to South Australian schools by around $1.1 billion between 2013 and 2019.
Total new funding to public schools will be $717 million, total new funding to the Catholic schools sector will be $197 million and total new funding for the Independent schools sector will be $186 million.
This $1.1 billion in extra funding comprises around $656 million in state and federal government investments to bring per-student funding up to the new Schooling Resource Standard, as well as better rates of indexation.
To achieve this, the Gillard Government has committed to grow its school education spending by 4.7 per cent per year from 2014 into 2015 and throughout the agreement.
In return, South Australia has committed to reach an indexation rate of 3 per cent over the new funding period.
For the first time, all funding will be linked to education reforms. This means that all South Australian students, no matter where they go to school, will receive a world-class education and the required level of support to fulfil their educational potential and prepare them for the high-skill, high-wage jobs of tomorrow.
The agreements signed today will benefit principals and teachers, who will see more training and support, greater rewards for staying in classrooms and more autonomy in decision making in schools.
Parents and community organisations will see more transparency around school performance and funding so they can be more informed and involved in the education of their students.
The Australian Government is determined to keep working closely with all remaining states and territories and the non-government sector and with schools, parents and communities right across the nation—to see these reforms agreed by 30 June 2013.