Release type: Joint Media Release


Progress meeting on better schools plan

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Education yesterday met with representatives from the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) who welcomed the progress made in negotiating a new approach to school funding.

This means that the Catholic systemic schools are one step closer to guaranteed extra funding of around $3 billion over six years.

On this basis, the NCEC agreed to take forward to State and Territory Catholic Education Commissions the final school funding settings that will deliver extra benefits and funding for Catholic school students across the country.

The new funding arrangements are now enshrined in the Australian Education Act 2013 which passed the Federal Parliament on 26 June 2013.

Further discussions will continue with the NCEC and other schooling authorities and sectors to finalise the Regulations for the Australian Education Act 2013.

The full amount of extra funding will flow to every Catholic systemic school in Australia if all states and territories sign up to the Australian Government’s Plan for Better Schools and contribute their share.

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Education stressed the importance of this milestone in achieving better schools and a better future for Australian kids.

He welcomed the commitment shown by the NCEC to a funding system that would improve outcomes for students in Catholic systemic schools.

The Prime Minister said the extra funding included $1.6 billion from the Australian Government’s commitment to grow current investment in schools by 4.7 per cent a year.

The other $1.4 billion formed part of the more than $15 billion additional investment for schools under the National Plan for School Improvement, of which the Commonwealth’s contribution would be around $10 billion over 2014 to 2019.

The Prime Minister said these fairer funding arrangements would benefit approximately 700,000 school children across almost 1,650 Catholic systemic schools around Australia.

It will mean more resources for these schools to deliver improvements to the quality of teaching, help implement a national curriculum, include science as part of annual testing, and provide additional support to students who need it the most.”

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Education acknowledged the invaluable work of the NCEC in working towards this important milestone.

The NCEC will now brief all State and Territory Catholic Education Commissions on the final funding arrangements for Catholic systemic schools to be transitioned from 2014.

As a result, each of these Commissions are now working to develop and agree a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Government setting out the education reforms to be implemented over the six year transition period.