Tuesday, 3 December 2019
Questions without Notice
Can I thank the member for Curtin for her question. She's got a passionate interest in education and also understands how important a stable economy is to providing record funding for schools—a record $310 billion investment in schools, an increase of 62 per cent per student. There is record funding for government schools, record funding for Catholic schools and record funding for independent schools. As a matter of fact, our funding for state schools is growing at around 6.4 per cent, which is higher than what it is for our Catholic and independent schools, at 4.9 per cent. But, while providing record funding is important, we also have to make sure that that record funding turns into outcomes and results for our students. That's where the focus of the government is at the moment.
Next week, I will be hosting the Education Council in Alice Springs, and on the agenda will be very, very important reforms for the school sector. We want to bring in a unique student identifier number so that we can map the progress of students throughout their primary and secondary schooling. And, as importantly, we want to bring in learning progressions on literacy and numeracy for students. We all know and understand how fundamental literacy and numeracy are for a student's educational outcomes, so we want to start mapping those educational outcomes so that, for every year of study that a student undertakes, they progress when it comes to literacy and numeracy at least 12 months of learning, if not more. This is absolutely fundamental. If we are going to improve the flatlining results of our students then every state and territory across the country needs to get on board with these reforms. I will be putting to the state and territory education ministers that it's time to be bold; it's time to back these reforms. Put the interests of the teachers unions behind you and back these reforms. We need literacy and numeracy at the heart of what our students are learning. We need to be able to map the progressions that our students are making when it comes to literacy and numeracy. It is going to be one of the most important COAG meetings of this year, and I need every state and territory minister to put their self-interest behind them—to come, be bold and back this agenda.