New funding plans announced by PM

The Turnbull Government has announced new needs-based school funding, and an increased investment as part of a new initiative. David Gonski will lead a new inquiry, joined by Dr Ken Boston, also a member of the original review.
May 2, 2017

The Turnbull Government has announced new needs-based school funding, and an increased investment as part of a new initiative, dubbed Gonski 2.0.

The Government plans to commit an additional $18.6 billion for Australia’s schools over the next decade, starting from 2018. It will be distributed according to a model of needs-based and transparent funding.

Under the Quality Schools reforms, Commonwealth funding for schools will grow from $17.5 billion in 2017 to $30.6 billion in 2027. This includes $2.2 billion in new funding over the first four years to be included in this year’s Budget following on from an additional $1.2 billion in last year’s Budget.

David Gonski has agreed to lead a new inquiry into improving the results of Australian students.

The Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools will provide advice on how this extra Commonwealth funding should be used by Australian schools. Gonski will be joined by Dr Ken Boston, who was also a member of the original Gonski review.

The review will make recommendations on the most effective teaching and learning strategies to reverse declining results, and improve performance of schools and students.

Gonski will provide his final report to the Government no later than December 2017, ahead of the negotiation of new school reform agreements with states and territories in the first half of 2018.

"The Turnbull Government will deliver the real ‘Gonski’ needs-based funding model that Labor didn’t," a statement from the government said.

"While maintaining the historic role of the federal government as the majority funder of non-government schools, this will see the Commonwealth continue to increase its share of funding for government schools, which in 2013-14 stood at 13.4 per cent and in 2005-06 was just 8.9 per cent."

Our reform will allow states and territories to be held to account for meeting their share of the standard. To stop cost shifting, states will also be required to at least maintain their real per student funding levels or face a reduction in Commonwealth funding. The latest data shows that in 2014-15, the Commonwealth increased funding for all Australian schools by more than $1 billion while in the same year, four states and territories actually reduced their spending on government schools by as much as $56 million."

The changes to the funding model will include:

  • Ensuring students with the same need within the same sector attract the same support from the Commonwealth Government regardless of where they live.
  • Transitioning all schools to an equitable Commonwealth share of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by increasing federal funding on average over the next decade to government schools by 94.1 per cent or $6.4 billion and to non-government schools by 62.2 per cent or $6.7 billion.
  • Introducing funding fairness. It's anticipated that 24 schools in the nation’s highest socio-economic areas will receive a small reduction in per-student funding in 2018.
  • Using the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for Commonwealth funding decisions on students with a disability. This will ensure that need drives funding allocation, and end the different definitions of disability that exist between jurisdictions.
  • From 2021, indexing the SRS at a rate that reflects real cost growth into the future.

Full details of the reform package are available at the Quality Schools webpage.