The federal budget was largely business as usual for education. However, there was one important commitment – to provide $40.4 million for 46 schools in Central Australia to improve attendance and student outcomes, bringing those schools to 100% of the SRS. This is the first, albeit small, step towards the delivery of federal Labor’s 2022 election commitment to get every public school on the pathway to 100% of the SRS.
Interestingly, there was also a commitment to introduce safeguards to check the funding arrangements for non-government schools, to ensure that they are only receiving their required funding.
The budget also provided for several small initiatives to address workforce pressures, coming from the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, including 2000 additional university places for primary and secondary teaching, and 5000 teaching scholarships.
We need to ensure that the 2024 federal budget features the long-awaited commitment to 100% SRS funding for all public schools across Australia. For federal Labor to truly deliver Prime Minister Albanese’s vision for Australia, in which no one is held back and no one is left behind, we must hold the government to account.