Part 2—Outcome 2

Improved learning, and literacy, numeracy and educational attainment for school students through funding for quality teaching and learning environments, workplace learning and career advice.

The Department of Education is committed to working in partnership with state and territory governments and the non-government sector to improve outcomes in Australian schools. Under the Australian Government’s Students First package of reforms, there is a focus on four key areas that will improve student outcomes: teacher quality, school autonomy, engaging parents in education, and strengthening the Australian Curriculum. This includes ensuring that mainstream schools policy, programmes and service delivery contribute to improvements in outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The bulk of the Government’s investment in schools is made either through payments direct to state and territory governments for government schools or through state and territory treasuries for non-government schools and systems. From 1 January 2014, recurrent funding to all schools and systems in Australia has been based on needs-based funding arrangements contained within the Australian Education Act 2013.

The Government’s approach to supporting schools is based on the best evidence available while reflecting the realities of our federation, in which state and territory education authorities have primary responsibility for school education. The Council of Australian Governments ( COAG) Education Council (formerly the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood), the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee and associated advisory bodies and working groups are the principal forums for policy coordination and collaboration at the national level. The Government is also committed to continuing improvements to national data collection, monitoring and reporting, and working with state and territory governments to support the development of evidence-based policy.

Ultimately, the Government recognises the important role that schools, parents and communities play in translating national policy settings into action at the local level. The department is consulting with state and territory school authorities to amend the Australian Education Act 2013 to remove the command and control features to ensure that state and territory governments retain authority for schools within their jurisdictions and non-government schools maintain their independence and autonomy.

The department also oversees a range of initiatives that support young people to reach their full potential and make a successful transition from school to further education, training or work.

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education, reads aloud to a class at Sunrise Christian School, Marion Campus, South Australia, February 2014.
The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Education, reads aloud to a class at Sunrise Christian School, Marion Campus, South Australia, February 2014.