The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

14 May 2013

A fairer funding plan for all Australian schools

Joint media release with
The Hon Julia Gillard
Prime Minister and
The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP
Minister for School Education

The Gillard Government has made a $9.8 billion commitment to increase school funding over six years, along with better indexation and reforms to lift student achievement, under the National Plan for School Improvement. 

This commitment, first announced in April ahead of the Prime Minister meeting with Premiers and Chief Ministers, is provided for in the Budget, which delivers long term investment in schools.  Negotiations with states and territories continue and the Prime Minister's offer remains open until 30 June.

This historic reform to school funding will create better Australian schools for generations to come; ensuring our classrooms, teachers and kids are properly resourced and we can reach our goal of being in the top 5 education systems in the world by 2025.

Investment will increase year by year throughout the six year period of the agreement. The Gillard Government is delivering historic education reform because too many schools and students are being left behind, and our school results have not been improving as much as they could.

This is the most comprehensive reform of school funding in 40 years. The Gonski Review called for a fundamental overhaul of a school funding system that is leaving too many students behind. 

That's why we need the National Plan for School Improvement. To ensure every Australian student gets the great education they deserve, no matter where they go to school. The National Plan for School Improvement will focus reforms on quality teaching, quality learning, meeting student need, empowered school leadership, and accountability and transparency.

The plan will establish a national Schooling Resource Standard which includes a benchmark per student amount and extra money through loadings for students we know need it most.

Loadings will be available for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, Indigenous students, students with limited English and students with disability, and reflect school location and size.

The Plan includes:

  • professional standards, annual performance assessments and ongoing training and support for teachers;
  • more individual support for students, including through intensive early years intervention in reading;
  • more local decision making for school principals, supported by experts; and
  • more information than ever before for parents, and stronger partnerships with communities to support higher student achievement.

By making every school a better school, we will help every young Australian get the best possible education and secure a high-wage, high-skilled job of the future.

The Gillard Government is offering to pay around 65 per cent of the additional investment needed to fund all schools properly and reach our goals – essentially a 2 for 1 offer for all states and territories.

The Gillard Government has also committed to annual growth in school education spending of 4.7 per cent indexation – provided states commit to grow their own school budgets by 3 per cent.

The Government is negotiating with state and territory governments on the Plan, to ensure all schools around Australia can look forward to funding security and increased investment.

We know Australia needs these school reforms and, principals, teachers, students and the community support this extra funding to get the best possible education outcomes.

New South Wales has already committed to these historic reforms and is working to implement the Plan from next year. 

Other Premiers and Chief Ministers must follow the lead of Prime Minister Gillard and Premier Barry O'Farrell.

This year, there is a choice – between the Gillard Government investing in education, or Tony Abbott's strategy of cutting to the bone.

We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on.

We're doing this to keep our economy one of the most resilient in the world – we have low unemployment, solid growth, contained inflation and low interest rates.