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For Every Child

Ending the capital funding divide in Australia's schools

The connection between high quality school facilities and success in education is well established.

In 2011 the Review of School Funding found that “Student outcomes are strongly influenced by the design of learning spaces and the facilities in a school.”

Twenty‐first‐century learning, with the focus on meeting the diverse needs of students and equipping them with all with the knowledge, skills and capacities required in society and the modern workforce, requires safe, high‐quality teaching and learning environments for all students. Modern schools must also ensure that they are able to provide appropriate learning environments for student cohorts that are increasingly complex including a substantial increase in the number of students with disability in recent years.

Australia’s population of school age children is projected to grow rapidly over the next 20 years, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics projects that by 2042 there will be an additional 1.9 million children aged between five and 19 years in Australia, an increase of 38.2 per cent from the current population. The number of public schools students has already increased by 160,000 students between 2015 and 2022, and the Commonwealth projects that public school enrolments will rise by a further 160,000 by 2029.

However, despite the benefits of modern and well‐designed learning spaces and continual population growth, over the last decade infrastructure in Australia’s public schools has been steadily deteriorating, and Australia’s public school building stock has a high prevalence of aging buildings with issues ranging from leaking roofs to unstable structures and inadequate facilities like science labs, libraries, and sports areas – all of which are essential for a holistic education.

Read more in the Ending the capital funding divide in Australia's Schools report.

A message from Correna HaythorpeCorrena Haythorpe - 295x355.png

Equitable funding of public schools in Australia is the only way to ensure every child gets every opportunity to succeed. Now we’re closer than ever.

It’s time to fully fund public schools, For Every Child.

Thanks to the tireless activism of members like you, public school funding is on the national agenda.

Principals and teachers are delivering a great education for students in public schools, but they are being asked to do too much with too little. Chronic underfunding of public education is leading to unsustainable workloads, and more and more teachers are leaving the profession early.

Full funding of Australia’s public schools will mean that every child will have access to a high-quality education no matter their circumstances. And it means:

  • Smaller class sizes and more intensive support for children at risk of falling behind.
  • More specialist support to help children with learning difficulties and complex needs.
  • More time for teachers to collaborate on the best ways to meet the needs of every child in their school.

Achieving fully funded public schools is going to take all of us. Will you lend your voice and share this call with your friends and family?

Our children and teachers are giving 100 per cent. We need politicians to do the same. Join us.

In hope,

Correna Haythorpe
AEU Federal President

Find more information on the For Every Child campaign here and sign up here.

Read about the announcement for school funding in Western Australia here.

Road trip for funding

For Every Child resources

  • Ending the capital funding divide in Australia's schools
  • For Every Child: Time for Full Funding
  • NSRA at a glance 2023 and policy costing
  • WA launch today of campaign for full funding of public schools
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  • Western Teacher Live Podcast
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  • For Every Child - National plan
  • Fully funded public schools more than pay for themselves: new report
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