Inquiry says full funding of public schools is urgent

An independent expert education panel has handed down its report and it is great news for public schools and our campaign.


An independent expert education panel has called for governments to deliver full funding of public schools, saying it is “urgent and critical”.

After a six month inquiry, the expert panel told education ministers that delivering that funding was the “first step to ensuring all students receive the supports they need”.

It said the need for the investment was especially important given private schools are almost all fully funded.

“Addressing funding inequity, coupled with targeted reforms in three priority areas of equity, wellbeing and workforce, will help level the playing field and make Australia’s schools even better and fairer,” the report summary states.

The report is a boost for the campaign and increases the pressure on the Albanese Government and State and Territory governments as they begin negotiations on new school funding agreements. Those agreements must be finalised next year.

The expert panel found 98% of public schools are resourced below the Schooling Resource Standard, (SRS) which is the minimum level governments agreed they required to meet the needs of their students over a decade ago.

Only ACT public schools are fully funded now and NSW is the only state to commit to full funding by 2029.

“All jurisdictions should fully fund schools within a comparable timeframe to ensure students and educators in all schools have access to 100 per cent of Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) funding.

“If schools are not funded to their full and fair levels, the number of students who are left behind and stay behind is likely to grow.”

Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe welcomed the findings.

“Fully funding public schools is the best investment we could make for our future,” she said.

“This independent expert panel has made it crystal clear that our politicians must deliver for teachers and students.

“Our political leaders have a historic opportunity to finally end the underfunding of public schools and they must take it.

“Public schools can do wonders with this funding whether it is by increasing the support for children with diverse or complex needs, providing tutoring for those at risk of falling behind or giving teachers more support inside and outside the classroom.”

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Growing community support for full funding

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