Thursday, 18 October 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Education. Would the minister update the House on how the government's plan for a strong economy enables the government to focus on delivering a quality education for young Australians? What are the risks of alternative approaches?
I thank the member for her question. Following on from that spirit of bipartisanship, I know she would like—as I'm sure all members in this House would—to wish those who are doing their leaving exams, right across the nation, all the very best over the coming weeks, because it will be a very trying time for them.
Our government has an economic plan. It's seen more than one million jobs created. It's seen an unemployment rate of five per cent. It's seen economic growth at 3.4 per cent through the year, faster economic growth than any G7 country. It's seen the smallest budget deficit in a decade. We are on track to come back to balance a year earlier, in 2019-20, with a AAA credit rating from the three leading agencies. What does this have to do with education? Everything, because it means that Australians can rely on our government to deliver the essential services we all rely on, the essential services that mean that we can fund the education our kids need. What are we delivering? Record funding for state schools, record funding for Catholic schools and record funding for independent schools. Our government is providing a record $309.6 billion in recurrent funding to all Australian schools from 2018 to 2029, including $88.9 billion over the next four years, delivering for state schools, independent schools and Catholic schools.
But we're not just focused on investment; we're focused on outcomes and, in particular, student outcomes. That's why we're working with the states and territories to deliver the National School Reform Agreement. This includes creating a unique student identifier that will give our kids, parents and teachers the ability to view lifelong progression in education so we can identify problems and opportunities and improve results. In addition, learning progressions will provide support for teachers to teach the curriculum in a way that best suits individual students. This means every child will get a year's worth of learning for every year in education.
Our government believes that you can improve student outcomes without putting up taxes. Those opposite believe you have to do everything by putting up taxes—$200 billion worth of taxes. Australians know that, if you can manage the budget, you can deliver the essential services Australians rely on. This is what our government is doing.