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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 7931

Mr Pyne asked the Minister for Education, in writing, on 25 June 2009:

In respect of the National Partnerships where funding will be provided to the States and Territories which will then enter into agreements with non-government education authorities:

(a) what are the terms of these agreements for each National Partnership, and the details of progress; (b) will these agreements be publicly available; if so, on what date; (c) what sum of money will non-government authorities be required to contribute; (d) what impact will this have on small independent schools; (e) will the funding be based on enrolments; if so what are the details; and (f) will the non-government education authorities report to the States and Territories or the Commonwealth.

Ms Gillard (Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(a)   In November 2008, COAG endorsed 3 Smarter Schools National Partnerships (NP) designed to drive educational reforms in Australian schools. The NPs are available at The systems have worked together to develop arrangements for implementation of the NPs in each state and territory, and have agreed a methodology for the distribution of funds. This has been a process of negotiation between the Government and non-government sectors and the Commonwealth welcomes the collaborative approach taken by all school systems. The states and territories have developed Preliminary Implementation Plans and Bilateral Agreements triggering the initial flow of funding to each sector to facilitate reforms. The Commonwealth will continue to work with states and territories to further refine the Preliminary Implementation Plans with Final Implementation Plans expected to be in place in October 2009

(b)   The Final Implementation Plans will be publically released after they have been finalised in late 2009.

(c)   States and territories will match the level of investment for the funds paid under the facilitation component across the three NPs. The proportion of each sector’s contribution to this co-investment will be negotiated between the sectors.

(d)   School sectors within each State and Territory will negotiate the share and source of each sector’s contribution to the co-investment. The sectors will need to determine an appropriate approach to this, taking into consideration the effects at the school level including for small independent schools.

(e)   The methodology for the indicative distribution of facilitation funding differs across the three Smarter Schools NPs. For the Improving Teacher Quality NP this has been determined on the basis of state shares of the national Full-Time Equivalent teaching staff; for the Low SES School Communities NP this has been determined by student enrolments in disadvantaged schools and the school-aged population who reside in the most disadvantaged Census Collection Districts; and for the Literacy and Numeracy NP it has been determined by the total number of students at or below minimum standards (NAPLAN 2008) in reading and numeracy for Years 3, 5 and 7.

(f)   The states and territories will provide reports to the Commonwealth against the implementation milestones, achievement of reform targets and timelines, for both the Government and non-government sector, as detailed in Bilateral Agreements.