The 2023 Report on Government Services released today by the Productivity Commission has highlighted the task that lies ahead for the Albanese Government to address the inequities in public education.
“From our preschools, through primary and secondary public education to TAFE, today’s ROGS data shows the sheer scale of the previous government’s neglect over the past decade,” said Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe.
“The Coalition deliberately created a totally inequitable education funding system in which public school principals, teachers and education support staff, TAFE workers and early childhood teachers effectively work with their hands tied behind their backs to deliver the learning programs their students require.
“But there is no better time than this moment for governments to invest in public students, public education and through them, our nation’s future.”
On school funding, the data shows the overwhelming majority of school students, including the vast majority of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, are educated in public schools, but that almost no public school is fully and fairly funded to cater for their students.
In vocational education and training, ROGS shows:
And, in early childhood education, the data shows:
“While we welcome Federal Labor’s investment in fee-free TAFE places, their efforts to tackle the national teacher shortage crisis by working collaboratively with the teaching profession and their recognition of the importance of the early years, the task ahead of the federal government to invest in public education and reverse the decade of neglect, is a significant one.
“In schools, the Albanese Government must fulfill their election commitment and establish a pathway to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) funding for every public school in the country.
“In vocational education, they must resolve the underlying contestable funding issue and guarantee ongoing TAFE funding that actually covers the cost of course delivery.
“And, last but certainly not least, in early childhood Labor must deliver fully funded preschool for all three-year-olds.
“Public education plays a crucial role in educating the vast majority of Australian students. It is high time that this system is fully funded to ensure that every student has access to high quality education and equal opportunity, irrespective of their circumstances or backgrounds,” Ms Haythorpe said.
We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia. We stand in solidarity.
Authorised by Mary Franklyn, General Secretary, State School Teachers' Union of W.A. (Inc.)
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