The Abbott Government is honouring its commitments and investing record recurrent funding of $64.5 billion in government and non-government schools over the next four years.
The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.
The Government committed in the 2013 election to matching the previous government’s school funding dollar for dollar over the four-year forward estimates.
In addition, the Abbott Government is delivering $1.2 billion that the previous government removed from schools in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The Abbott Government’s investment will ensure students in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory don’t miss out for three years, after having their funding cut by Labor.
In addition, the Abbott Government will deliver a range of measures as part of our Students First policy to help Australian students to get ahead.
The Abbott Government is honouring its commitment to deliver $5 million to help ensure more students study science, technology, engineering and mathematics in primary and secondary schools through the Primary Connections: Linking science with literacy and Science by Doing science education programmes.
We are also honouring our commitment to improve uptake of languages other than English with funding of $11.6 million in the 2014-15 Budget for the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) trial and for the development of new curricula under the Australian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 10.
While funding is important, it is no guarantee of improved student results unless it is spent on proven strategies.
We already know that over the past decade, school spending has increased by 40 per cent yet student outcomes have consistently declined.
That is why the Abbott Government has strong policies based on the best evidence of what works to improve student outcomes to put students first.
We know that students do best in schools that have autonomy, quality teaching, effective curricula, and increased parental engagement.
As part of our Students First policy, the Abbott Government is working with the states and territories to focus on four key areas, which make a real difference for students:
- improving teacher quality;
- increasing school autonomy;
- engaging parents in education; and
- strengthening the curriculum.
Our Students First policy will encourage students to develop practical, targeted skills that will help them compete in the global jobs economy.
The Abbott Government is honouring its commitments and increasing schools funding to record highs.
The Government is making decisions that repair the Budget, strengthen the economy and prepare Australia for the long-term challenges before us.