Victoria has reached an agreement with the federal government on the Better Schools Plan that will see the state's schools receive an extra $12.2 billion of funding over the next six years. The new funding model will begin in 2014 and will provide schools with a total of $63.7 billion by 2020.
The Better Schools Plan follows the Gonski school funding review, which called for improvements to Australia's schooling system, including the introduction of a fairer funding model based on student needs. The primary goal of the plan is to ensure that all Australian students no matter where they live, which school they attend or their family background receive the best possible education.
Victoria has joined New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory in signing up to the plan. Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia are yet to reach an agreement with the Commonwealth.
- The federal government will invest an extra $6.8 billion each year, with the Victorian Government expected to contribute an additional $5.4 billion, to a total of $63.7 billion.
- Funding will be allocated at a base level per student $9271 for primary school students and $12,193 for secondary school students.
- Schools will receive extra loadings based on factors such as school size and location, as well as to support students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students with disabilities, students with limited English language proficiency and Indigenous students.
- Victorian schools must commit to implementing the Australian Curriculum in all learning areas from Foundation to Year 10 by 2016, and for Years 11 and 12, by 2018.
- In order to contribute its share, the Victorian Government will scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance. The allowance, which helps families from low socioeconomic backgrounds to cover costs such as uniforms, textbooks and school camps, will be cut in 2015.
Non-government schools will receive a portion of the base funding per student, with the Catholic and independent sectors having signed up the plan in July. Catholic systemic schools are expected to receive an additional $1.6 billion over the next six years, while independent schools will receive an additional $1 billion.
- Better Schools: A National Plan for School Improvement
- Victoria signs up to the Better Schools Plan federal government media release