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Regional schools $6 billion winners under National Plan for School Improvement



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Minister for School Education

Peter Garrett

Regional schools $6 billion winners under National Plan for School Improvement

Thursday 30 May 2013

The new funding approach under the National Plan for School Improvement will deliver around $6 billion in extra funding for regional and remote schools over the next six years, under the offer made to states and territories by the Gillard Government.

School Education Minister Peter Garrett said this extra funding will help country schools across Australia deal with the unique circumstances and challenges they face.

“Under our plan, schools will benefit from $14.5 billion in extra investment over the next six years, and country schools will see about 40 per cent of this,” he said.

“This is because our new funding model is based on the individual needs of every student in every classroom. Schools in the regions often cater for higher number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and under our plan they’ll get the extra money they need to provide the best education possible for these students.

“Country schools will also benefit from the location loading and size loading, which will also provide extra funding under the NPSI.”

Mr Garrett said that every Australian child deserves equal access to a great education, no matter where they live or the school they attend.

“We know that schools in many regional areas have a lot of challenges. They often cater for kids with higher needs or from more disadvantaged backgrounds. Access to resources and learning opportunities can be limited, and it can be hard to keep good teachers,” he said.

“That’s why our plan will make sure every single school in country areas will have the money they need to do a great job - from bigger schools in regional cities to the smallest schools in the outback.

“The funding we’re offering under our plan will make a real difference in country classrooms.

‘So the big question is, will the National Party stand up for regional schools and back our plan to give kids from the bush the same opportunities as city kids? Or will they put politics ahead of the needs of schools in their communities?

“The National Party in NSW has demonstrated that it is possible to put schools above political point scoring by signing up to our deal - and delivering almost $3 billion in extra funding for rural schools.

“The LNP in QLD, the National Party in Victoria and the Country Liberal Party in the NT need show the same leadership.”

Mr Garrett said NAPLAN results, international tests and other statistics show the need for extra support in regional schools.

For example, in 2012, 92.4 per cent of metropolitan students performed at or above the national minimum standard of achievement in Year 9 Reading in NAPLAN. But 90.3 per cent of regional students, 80.4 per cent of remote students, and only 47.4 per cent of very remote students, performed at this level.

And PISA 2009 results revealed a performance gap between 15 year-olds students in metropolitan and remote schools across all reading, mathematical and scientific literacy, equivalent to around 1.5 years of schooling.

“That’s why our plan offers the best deal for regional and remote schools. There’ll be more money for schools to pay for things like specialist staff, literacy and numeracy coaches, community engagement workers, and modern teaching resources,” Mr Garrett said.

“But under Tony Abbott and the Coalition, school funding across Australia would go backwards by a staggering $16.2 billion over the next six years.

“Only our plan will ensure that country classrooms are properly resources and country kids get the best possible start in life.”

Further information The $6 billion in extra funding includes the base amount per student, plus loadings for school location, school size, Indigenous and low SES students, students with disability, and students with limited English.

Non-metropolitan schools will receive the bulk of two of these six loadings: all of the location loading, and the majority of the size loading, under our new funding approach.

Location loading

Schools eligible to receive the loading will have it applied to their base schooling resource standard (SRS) and size loading. The amount of extra money they receive will depend on where they are located:

• Inner regional schools will receive up to 10 per cent of the loading amount. These include schools in locations such as Launceston, Tamworth and Ballarat. • Outer regional schools will receive between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of the loading amount. These include schools in locations such as Darwin, Cairns and Whyalla.

• Remote schools will receive between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of the loading amount. These include schools in locations such as Mount Isa, Bourke and Broome. • Very remote schools will receive between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the loading amount. These include schools in locations such as Flinders Island, Tennant Creek and Ceduna.

Under the National Plan, it is estimated that the location loading would deliver approximately $8.5 billion nationally over 2014 to 2019, if all states and territories sign up.

For each state and territory, from 2014 to 2019, the location loading will provide around: • $1.3 billion for students in NSW schools - benefitting 206,900 students in 1017 schools (33% of schools). • $578 million for students in VIC schools - benefitting 114,800 students in 609 schools (27%). • $2.6 billion for students in QLD schools - benefitting 258,100 students in 849 schools (50%). • $1.9 billion for students in WA schools - benefitting 83,000 students in 378 schools (35%.) • $702 million for students in SA schools - benefitting 50,200 students in 256 schools (34%). • $494 million for students in TAS schools - benefitting 80,100 students in 255 schools (99%). • $921 million for students in NT schools - benefitting 41,000 students in 190 schools. (100%)

The location loading is expected to provide an average of around $10,200 per eligible student over the six years, nationally.

Size loading

The majority of schools (2763, or 83%) in regional and remote Australia will also benefit from extra funding through the school size loading.

The school size loading provides extra funding for smaller schools in recognition that they need additional resources so they can offer a similar level of service as larger schools. It increases in amount as student numbers decrease.

Primary schools with up to 200 students will attract $150,000 extra (reducing to zero for schools with 300 students. Secondary schools with up to 500 students will attract $240,000 (reducing to zero for schools with 700 students.

Under the National Plan, it is estimated that the size loading would deliver approximately $5.4 billion nationally over 2014 to 2019 out of total public funding, if all states and territories take part.

For each state and territory, from 2014 to 2019, the size loading will provide around: • $1.6 billion for students in NSW schools - benefitting 322,400 students in 1844

schools (59% of schools). • $1.3 billion for students in VIC schools - benefitting 264,400 students in 1369 schools (61%). • $970 million for students in QLD schools - benefitting 167,200 students in 929 schools (54%). • $770 million for students in WA schools - benefitting 126,800 students in 648 schools (61%). • $430 million for students in SA schools - benefitting 92,900 students in 489 schools (65%). • $170 million for students in TAS schools - benefitting 39,100 students in 192 schools (74%). • $160 million for students in NT schools - benefitting 25,000 students in 162 schools (85%). • $70 million for students in ACT schools - benefitting 15,163 students in 61 schools (48%).

The size loading is expected to provide an average of around $5,200 per eligible student over the six years, nationally.

For more information

Media Contact: media@deewr.gov.au Non-media queries: 1300 363 079