This is not just an investment in schools, this is a down payment on the long-term strength of the Australian economy, and will underwrite higher productivity for decades to come.
Tasmania becomes the fourth jurisdiction to agree to the National Education Reform Agreement, with its students now supported by three key measures:
- an ambitious goal for Australia to be in the top five in the world in reading, maths and science by 2025, and rated as high quality and high equity.
- continued reform under the Better Schools in the areas we know drive better student outcomes including: quality teaching; quality learning; empowered school leadership; meeting student need; and transparency and accountability; and
- funding arrangements that are based on the needs of individual students and individual schools.
For the first time, all funding will be linked to education reforms with this investment supporting the long term future of Australia.
Funding will be targeted on lifting school performance and giving each and every student in Tasmania a world-class education, no matter where they live, the school they attend or their family background.
The Heads of Agreement that provides the detail of this reform for Tasmania which will see annual funding allocations for Tasmanian schools rise to $1.4 billion in 2019.
Over the six years of the new agreement, the Australian and Tasmanian Governments will invest more than $380 million in extra funding between 2014 and 2019.
Put simply, these indexation arrangements mean all schools in Tasmania – Government, Independent and Catholic – will see fair funding growth each year.
To achieve this, the Australian 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, consistent with its 2013/14 Budget, Tasmania has agreed to grow its 2015 base funding by 3 per cent to 2016 and will continue to do so every year thereafter.
The Tasmanian government will also introduce a new school funding model for Government schools, the Fairer Funding Model (FFM), to ensure resources are targeted to where they are needed most.
The agreement made today will benefit principals and teachers, who will see improved workforce flexibility and productivity, more training and support, and greater 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 children.
With Tasmania now joining New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory in signing up to the reforms, and with the passing of the Australian Education Act 2013, 63 per cent of Australian school students will receive increased funding from the 2014 school year.