House debates

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions without Notice

Education

2:46 pm

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Robertson for her question and for her passion for education and all the students in her electorate. I know she cares deeply about this matter and I know she cares deeply about the $310 billion that we're investing in education—an over 60 per cent increase. Last year we provided $18.7 billion for education. This year it is $19.9 billion. Next year we're providing $21.4 billion and we're providing $22.9 billion the year after. We're doing this because of our sound economic management: no new taxes over here, no taxing the economy to death over here. We just want to provide the sound economic management which means that we can continue to grow our economy and grow funding for education.

What that means for state schools is that our growth in funding is increasing by 6.4 per cent. When it comes to the non-government sector, it's 4.9 per cent. We've also signed national school reform agreements with every single state and territory and have signed bilateral agreements as well, which means that we can adopt the Gonski reforms. It's the Gonski reforms that will transform the standards that we're currently seeing in our schooling system. As I said yesterday, that is why we need every state and territory on board.

We need to be bold. We need to drive these reforms through. I say to every state and territory education minister: leave the talking points from the unions behind when you come to the meeting next week. We need to implement and we need to be adventurous. And what do we need to do? We have to focus on literacy and numeracy. They are the fundamentals, and that's what we want to do. We want to do that by making sure that every student can map their progression when it comes to literacy and numeracy. But, more importantly, we also want to provide an institute that will give our teachers the expertise they need to drive these improvements in literacy and numeracy. These are important reforms. These are the reforms that David Gonski recommended to us, and we have to make sure the states and territories come on board.

Those opposite seem to think that this was their idea. They had 27 different funding agreements when they were in office. Guess how many states were signed up to their national school reforms. Guess how many states they had. Three. How many have we got? We've got the lot. We need to drive reforms next week, and that is what we'll be doing.

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