Our Plan for

Quality Education

KEY POINTS

Every Australian child, no matter where they live, should have access to a world-class education.

The Liberal and Nationals Government has secured the funding and reforms necessary to ensure all Australian students can reach their potential - from early education, through school to vocational education and university.

We are doing this by:

  • Delivering more affordable child care with out of pocket costs down 8.9% since our Child Care Package began.
  • Investing in the early years by funding preschool to support 15 hours per week in the year before school.
  • Investing $4.9 million to boost preschool attendance by the most disadvantaged children.
  • Improving school student outcomes by providing record and guaranteed needs-based school funding – an extra $37 billion for all schools, an increase on average of 62% per student – and securing the agreement of every state and territory to our plan to lift student results.
  • Supporting students with a disability through record and growing funding.
  • Making a record investment in higher education – more than $17 billion each year with a renewed focus on regional Australia.
  • Creating more than 80,000 new apprenticeships and investing more than $3 billion in annual funding for vocational education.

A re-elected Morrison Government will build on this record through:

  • Investing $15 million for Teach for Australia to train high achieving teachers who will become high quality school leaders in rural, remote or disadvantaged schools.
  • Investing $10.8 million to provide a Year 1 voluntary phonics health check for parents and teachers to ensure their children are not falling behind.
  • Ensuring phonics is included in university teaching courses so that new teachers can use it in their classrooms.
  • Working with state and territory governments on best practice policies on mobile phone use in classrooms.
  • Tasking the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership to develop a National Strategy to support schools to tackle the abuse of teachers in the classroom.
  • Pursuing a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council review to lift the burden of compliance and red tape, so teachers can focus on teaching, not paperwork.
  • $15 million to create a further 5 Regional Study Hubs with additional Commonwealth Supported Places to support students to study their university course in their local communities.
  • $2 million to expand the Country Education Partnership’s successful Rural Inspire program, which aims to engage rural and regional students with further education.

Labor cannot be trusted with education.

The only time in the last decade that government school funding has been cut was under Labor.

When Labor was last in office, Bill Shorten as Education Minister cut $1.2 billion to schools through secret funding deals. In government Labor failed to provide ongoing or genuine needs-based school funding focussed on students. And announced $6.6 billion in cuts to higher education. They cannot manage the Budget, putting at risk our real needs-based and record funding for schools.

Our plan is backed by our record.

Through our record investment in education, supported by a strong Budget and sensible reforms, the Morrison Government is committed to delivering the quality education that every Australian child deserves.

OUR RECORD

The Coalition knows that every student deserves a world-class education. The Morrison Government has boosted funding and introduced important reforms to ensure students are put first.

The Coalition has worked hard to make sure that no child is held back by disadvantage. We have done this by targeting support to those who need it most and providing help for those who are working the hardest.

This is helping to ensure every child can reach their full potential.

Our child care reforms have made child care more affordable, with nearly one million families reaping the benefits. We abolished the annual subsidy cap for more than 80 per cent of families, allowing them to work as many days as they choose without losing their child care subsidy when they hit the cap.

If a parent can work and wants to work, we want to make it easier for them to access child care.

That’s why we increased the subsidy rate for low and middle income families and aligned subsidy hours with the hours parents work, train, study or volunteer. It means that more parents are getting the hours they pay for and the hours they need. A typical family is around $1,300 better off each year.

We know that these changes are working. More families and children are using child care, more

than 90 per cent of families are entitled to a child care subsidy of 50 per cent or more and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported that out of pocket costs for families have fallen by 8.9 per cent across Australia since our new child care package began.

We are also providing additional funding for families and children who need some extra support, through our Additional Child Care Subsidy, which is part of our $1.2 billion child care safety net.

Preschool is an important state and territory responsibility and we want to make sure that they get it right.

We are continuing to support state and territory governments to provide children with universal access to 15 hours of preschool a week for children in the year before school, with $450 million invested in 2020.

This brings the Liberal and Nationals Government's investment in preschool to $2.8 billion since we came to office.

For too long, state and territory governments have conflated enrolment with attendance. Currently, 28 per cent of four year olds who are funded and entitled to preschool do not attend for the 15 hours a week.

This non-attendance is higher for the most vulnerable – 34 per cent of disadvantaged children and 41 per cent of Indigenous children are missing out.

We need to find a way to reach these children before we expand preschool further and prevent them from being left behind.

That’s why we are committing an additional $4.9 million to boost the attendance of disadvantaged students who can least afford to miss out, including working with The Smith Family.

A future Morrison Government will commission a review of the National Partnership Agreement that governs preschool funding and will include the issue of attendance as a term of reference. The review will ensure that future funding is set up to achieve the best possible preschool outcomes.

Every student deserves funding based on their need. That is why the Liberal and Nationals Government has worked hard to provide funding for the schools and students who need it the most, no matter where they go to school or what type of school they attend. This will help every student to achieve their full potential every year they are at school.

The Liberal and Nationals Government's Quality Schools package will see a total of $310 billion provided to all schools – an extra $37 billion, an increase on average of 62 per cent per student. This funding is guaranteed thanks to our strong economic management.

We want parents to see results from this funding. That’s why we back NAPLAN and the transparency it provides to parents and the feedback it provides teachers about their students' progress, both what they do well and where they need more assistance. Parents should expect to be able to see progress in their child’s education.

The Liberal and Nationals Government believes in providing choice and quality in schools. This is why we have created a $1.2 billion Choice and Affordability Fund to assist schools provide options in how parents educate their children at Catholic and independent schools.

The Morrison Government supports Australians to get a job, and get a better job, by investing over $3 billion a year into vocational education and training (VET).

We initiated a once-in-a-generation review of the VET sector that provided a roadmap for further strengthening the system and we are investing $585 million in a package of measures which includes boosting incentives for employers to hire 80,000 new apprentices over the next five years.

We have strengthened the reputation of the VET sector, and replaced Labor’s failed VET FEE-HELP scheme, which ripped off vulnerable students and taxpayers, with VET Student Loans, which provide financial support for students to undertake high quality training linked to real workplace needs.

The Morrison Government believes our universities should be places of learning that set students on the path to rewarding careers. This is why we are investing record funding into universities and record funding into assisting students who would not otherwise have access.

We have increased funding for universities by 19 per cent since we were elected. By 2022, the increase will be 28 per cent.

We believe that you should be able to attend university whether you are from a regional community or from a capital city. Yet if you are from regional Australia, you are half as likely to attend a tertiary institution.

Thats why the Liberal and Nationals Government has invested over $490 million to help fix this gap, through greater access to Youth Allowance for regional students, and has increased funding for regional scholarships.

We have invested in making sure regional students can also study in the communities in which they live. We have committed to creating Regional Study Hubs in 22 different locations and created the Destination Australia scholarships to support students to study in regional Australia.

The Liberal and Nationals Government knows that taxpayers expect value for money from publicly-funded research ahead of university spending on marketing and unnecessary self-promotion and travel.

This is why we have ensured that research applications to the Australian Research Council must now meet a national interest test to ensure your money is spent on projects that will benefit Australia.

Our record investment in the higher education sector will grow in line with population growth and universities will be able to access more funding for bachelor places based on their performance.

This will see a further $790 million provided to universities up to 2023.

Our plan for a strong economy means we can guarantee record and growing funding for education – from the high chair to higher education – and focus on reforms that will deliver better student outcomes.

Child Care and Early Childhood

The Morrison Government is providing record funding for child care. We are committed to ensuring quality, affordable child care for families. Our Government will invest a record $8.6 billion in child care in 2019-2020, increasing to $10 billion in the coming years. This investment amounts to $37 billion in child care over four years.

Child care fees are a significant cost of living pressure for many families. When Labor was last in government, child care fees increased by over 50 per cent.

The Liberal and Nationals Government has reformed the child care subsidy to deliver quality, affordable child care, with more support for those families who need it most.

Since our changes, child care is more accessible and affordable, with out of pocket costs for families falling by 8.9 per cent since our child care package began.

The reformed Child Care Subsidy helps around one million families to balance work and parenting responsibilities. A typical family is around $1,300 better off each year.

We have also ended waste by closing down dodgy providers and ramping up the compliance checks that Labor cut. In doing so, we’ve saved taxpayers $2.8 billion.

We are actively working to place downward pressure on child care fee increases.

Our support for families using the child care system has increased from over $6 billion in 2013-14 to $8.6 billion in 2019-20, increasing to $10 billion in 2022-23.

Preschool

The Liberal and Nationals Government provides a funding contribution to state and territory governments, which are responsible for providing quality, affordable preschool. This is why we have continued our commitment to preschool with $450 million in funding to secure universal access to preschool in 2020. But there is more work to do.

The Morrison Government is committed to getting the settings right for children in the year before school.

We will continue our work with states and territories on future arrangements to lift preschool participation rates amongst four year olds, especially amongst the disadvantaged and Indigenous children who have the most to gain.

Recognising that 58 per cent of three year olds are already in early childhood education and care, we want to do the work necessary to get the existing policy for four year olds right, before we consider expanding universal access.

The Morrison Government is focused on ensuring future preschool policy for four year olds is as effective as possible. Data suggests that, of those who are enrolled, as many as 28 per cent are not attending regularly for the full 15 hours per week they are entitled to.

This percentage is even higher for vulnerable and disadvantaged children at 34 per cent, and for Indigenous children at 41 per cent. These numbers suggest that more needs to be done to ensure the most vulnerable children and families in our society are fully benefiting from a quality preschool education.

That’s why we have provided an additional $4.9 million to boost the attendance of disadvantaged students who can least afford to miss out, including work with The Smith Family.

The Morrison Government will also review the preschool National Partnership to ensure that it is set up to achieve the best preschool outcomes.

Schools

The Morrison Government is committed to providing choice and quality in our schools.

That’s why we have provided record funding for government, Catholic and independent schools.

The Liberal and Nationals Government's Quality Schools package will see a total of $310 billion provided to all schools – an extra $37 billion, an increase of 62 per cent per student. This funding is guaranteed and will deliver outcomes for students.

Under our plan, backed by the work carried out by David Gonski, we will lift student outcomes so that every child can fulfil their potential.

To get this done we have secured agreement from every state and territory for our plan to lift student results.

We have introduced a new literacy and numeracy test for trainee teachers, started decluttering the Australian Curriculum to refocus on the basics, and committed to supporting teachers with a new national centre of excellence and research for teaching.

The Morrison Government, through the COAG Education Council, is undertaking a review of the 2008 Melbourne Declaration of education goals for young Australians. The review will update the current Declaration to create a nationally consistent future direction for Australian schooling for the next decade.

These improvements are backed by record and guaranteed schools funding.

Since we were elected, we have increased funding for government schools by over 70 per cent and funding across all schools by over 50 per cent.

We have also secured the future for parents whose children are educated in independent and Catholic schools through our $1.2 billion Choice and Affordability Fund.

Government schools are receiving record levels of funding, this funding will continue to grow. In Labor’s last budget, funding for government schools was $4.9 billion. In the 2019-20 Budget, funding for government schools is $8.3 billion. By 2028-29, it will be $13.5 billion.

Information about funding for every government school is available at schools.education.gov.au/school-funding-estimator.

We are building on these achievements with further measures to support student success.

If re-elected, the Morrison Government will continue to deliver reforms that will give more independence to principals and local communities. We want schools, whether they are government, Catholic or independent, to be able to govern themselves.

We will continue to work with teachers and principals to continue to declutter the curriculum, ensuring they can get on with teaching the basics to our students.

We know that the basics are fundamental to a child’s future. Most importantly, if children struggle to learn to read, they will always struggle to learn by themselves.

This is why we will commit $10.8 million to introduce a Year 1 voluntary phonics health check by establishing a freely-available online check that allows parents and teachers to ensure their children are not falling behind and helps ensure students are building the skills they need to become great speakers, readers and writers.

We will also work with all higher education providers to include phonics in teaching courses so that new teachers are prepared, from day one in the classroom, to use these critical tools.

Every parent will tell you that the best asset in their school is their teachers. The Morrison Government will seek to attract more high quality teachers into the classrooms by expanding the successful Teach for Australia program to target the next generation of school leaders.

If re-elected, the Morrison Government will invest $15 million to support more Teach for Australia graduates who will train specifically for school leadership roles. These graduates will be high achieving teachers who will become high quality school leaders in rural, remote or disadvantaged schools.

It is vital that teachers receive the support they need to succeed. That is why a re-elected Morrison Government will task the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership to develop a National Strategy to support schools to tackle the abuse of teachers in the classroom.

We will work hard to make sure that principals and teachers are free from excessive red tape, giving them more time to focus on teaching their students.

As part of the Australian Curriculum review due to occur in 2020, a re-elected Morrison Government will also place on the COAG Education Council agenda a review of the compliance and regulation that teachers face.

We have established a $30 million Local School Community Fund to support local schools with specific projects that will benefit their students and local school communities.

Every child should feel safe and happy at school. But we know that increasingly student wellbeing inside and outside the classroom is becoming an issue for parents and teachers, particularly as we see the rise of cyberbullying and the inappropriate use of new technology.

This is why, if re-elected, the Morrison Government will work with the states and territories on best practice policies on mobile phone use in classrooms.

We understand that many students are impacted by study stress, bullying, friendship issues, and drugs and alcohol. That is why we have committed to our $503 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.

Our plan includes $11.8 million in a range of initiatives to help parents recognise when their children are struggling, improve mental health skills training in schools, enhance peer support networks and boost counselling support services for young people.

It will ensure that government activities are coordinated, services are delivered to young Australians at risk and support is available for friends and families.

Our Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention package builds on the record $4.8 billion that we are spending on mental health this financial year alone.

Our guaranteed record funding and significant educational reforms mean that, no matter where you go to school, you will get the funding and support you need to get the best possible education.

Funding for Schools, 2013-14 to 2028-29

Higher Education and Research

Since we were elected, university and research funding has grown by 19 per cent. Today, funding for universities is a record $17.7 billion, growing to $19.1 billion by 2022.

We believe that you should be able to attend university whether you are from a regional community or from a capital city. Yet if you are from regional Australia, you are half as likely to attend a tertiary institution.

That is why the Coalition has invested over $490 million to ensure students can attend university no matter where they live.

We have done this through 3,155 Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships, which provide support to students with the costs of studying at university or at a vocational education and training provider.

We have also introduced up to 4,720 new tertiary scholarships to attract Australian and international students to study in regional Australia.

We are investing $152 million in a Regional Student Access to Education Package, improving access to Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY living allowance for regional and remote students, and delivering more support for isolated children’s education.

We know that the cost of moving to study is often a burden on rural and regional students.

This is why we have created Regional Study Hubs in 22 locations, which will allow regional students to study in communities near them.

If re-elected, we will commit $15 million to create a further 5 Regional Study Hubs with additional Commonwealth Supported Places to ensure their ongoing viability.

We also know that rural and regional students need more support to complete school and aspire to further education. That is why a re-elected Morrison Government will commit $2 million to expand the Country Education Partnership’s successful Rural Inspire program.

This will assist the Partnership to expand their current activities, which aim to engage rural and regional students with further education.

This is a critical part of ensuring we close the gap in educational attainment between the city and regional communities.

We will also implement the findings of the Napthine Review into Rural, Regional and Remote Education. This will include the Australia's first Rural, Regional and Remote Education Strategy.

We will make sure that higher education funding serves the interests of students and taxpayers.

From next year we are increasing funding in line with population growth and universities will receive a further $790 million in performance-based funding by 2023.

This will ensure universities prioritise spending on their students and not on expenses, which they should fund from other sources rather than the Australian taxpayer. This includes the $1.7 billion that leading universities have splurged on marketing themselves in recent years.

We have also established a national interest test for taxpayer-funded university research to ensure value-for-money from research investments. This does not prevent universities from undertaking other research, but research funded by the taxpayer should be able to demonstrate its benefit for Australia.

Because higher education can open pathways to new opportunities, the Morrison Government is committed to ensuring access to courses for students who may otherwise miss out.

We are providing more than 170,000 students from low socio-economic backgrounds access to courses each year through the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.

We are providing more support to our aviation industry. Like medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, aviation courses are higher cost and so the Morrison Government is providing students studying at university or through approved VET Student Loan providers with access to loans of up to $150,000.

Universities should always be truth-seeking institutions. That is why we are committed to freedom of speech on campuses.

A re-elected Morrison Government will implement the recommendations of the French Review by applying new standards to ensure that freedom of speech is protected on campus through a voluntary code.

If universities do not subscribe to the code, the Liberal and Nationals Government will empower the Tertiary Quality and Standards Authority to ensure freedom of speech is protected on campuses.

Funding for universities and research 2013-2022

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

With a modern economy that is changing the way we work, there is a growing demand for new skills and occupations. The Morrison Government believes that learning through a vocational education is just as important as through a university degree, and we are therefore committed to ensuring our VET system is responsive so students and employers both benefit.

We will build on our existing support to the VET sector by implementing a $585 million package to:

Reduce the shortfall of skilled workers in key occupations and create up to 80,000 new apprentices by introducing a Skill Shortages payment of $4,000 for eligible employers and

$2,000 for apprentices.

Further expand the successful rural wage subsidy to support employers in rural and regional Australia to take on even more apprentices.

Streamline incentives for employers of apprentices and trainees and update the skills needs list to ensure it responds to labour market demand.

Address youth unemployment in regional Australia and create better connections between school students, employers and the VET sector by establishing 10 Industry Training Hubs.

Support more young Australians to gain a VET qualification through the Commonwealth Scholarship Program for Young Australians.

Raise the profile of the VET sector and improve the career advice given to students and others transitioning to a new career by establishing a National Careers Institute and appointing a National Careers Ambassador.

Support high impact programs that create innovative partnerships between schools, tertiary providers and employers through new competitive grants.

Increase support for those with low levels of education to identify and address language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills deficits, including in remote Indigenous communities.

Give students ownership over their education records and support the lifelong learning of Australian workers by expanding the Unique Student Identifier and creating a centralised digital Tertiary Learning Repository.

Promote a nationwide approach to skills development, enhance research and analysis of future skills needs and give industry a greater role in designing training courses by establishing a National Skills Commission and Skills Organisations across the country, starting with the growth areas of human services and digital technology (including cyber security).

Support thousands of young Tasmanians to gain new skills to boost the state’s renewable electricity generation sector and bring the Battery of the Nation plan to life.

Backing rural and regional students

Every Australian child, no matter where they live – in the bush or the city – should have access to a world-class education. The Liberal and Nationals Government has secured the funding and reforms to ensure all Australian students can reach their full potential.

We have delivered on the promise of increased support for school students in rural and remote areas, and funding for students in regional and remote Australia will grow by 63 per cent in the next ten years.

We know that the cost of moving to study is often a burden on rural and regional students. This is why we have created Regional Study Hubs in 22 locations, which will allow regional students to study in communities near them.

In 2016 we invested $152 million in a Regional Student Access to Education Package, improved access to Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY living allowance for regional and remote students, and provided more support for isolated children’s education.

We have invested in a range of measures to attract students to regional Australia, through 3,155 Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships, which provide support to students with the costs of studying at university or at a vocational education and training provider. We have also introduced up to 4,720 new tertiary scholarships to attract Australian and international students to study in regional Australia.

We will provide $5.2 billion to support more than 223,000 Indigenous school students and will waive all or part of the HELP debt for 3,100 teachers who commit to teach and stay teaching in very remote areas.

We have provided $45 million for isolated children’s education, including additional funding for Assistance for Isolated Children’s Additional Boarding Allowance.

We are developing Australia's first National Regional, Rural and Remote Higher Education Strategy to drive increased participation in post-secondary education and we commissioned Emeritus Professor John Halsey to undertake an Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education.

The Morrison Government provided $4 million to assist flood-affected schools in North Queensland supporting regional students and boarders who were impacted by the floods to support the needs of individual schools.

Only the Morrison Government understands the importance of investment in regional university campuses to support students to stay in the regions, improve educational attainment and achievement, support local business and create more local jobs. That is why we have invested

$150 million to relocate and expand the University of Tasmania’s campuses in Launceston and Burnie. The funding will support jobs and increase higher education accessibility, participation and attainment.

We have also invested $64 million for the Central Coast Medical School. And we have provided $14 million to support Deakin University’s plan for a renewed, regionally focused and sustainable Warrnambool campus to continue to provide higher education pathways for students in the region.

Building on these investments, in 2018 the Morrison Government provided a further $92.5 million to support more students at Federation University Berwick campus, the Caboolture and Fraser Coast campuses of the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Central Coast Medical School and Research Institute of the University of Newcastle, Central Queensland University and James Cook University.

This builds on the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to education in rural and regional Australia, with more than $1.6 billion in base funding in 2017 for Commonwealth supported students at regionally headquartered universities and $70 million each year in regional loading to help universities maintain regional campuses.

We will further expand the successful rural wage subsidy to support employers in rural and regional Australia to take on even more apprentices, and will increase scholarships for young people to study for vocational education qualifications.

We will help to address youth unemployment in regional Australia and create better connections between school students, employers and the VET sector by establishing 10 Industry Training Hubs, as well as investing in more Regional Study Hubs so that students at university can stay and study for their qualification near where they live.

And we are providing more incentives for Australian and international students to study at regional universities.

A re-elected Morrison Government will deliver a stronger economy, to secure the future of regional communities, and will continue to support the aspirations of regional and rural students to help them build the skills and qualifications they need to achieve their goals.

THE CHOICE

The choice in education is clear. Australian students, parents and teachers can’t afford Bill Shorten’s Labor.

The Morrison Government offers higher quality education with guaranteed funding backed by a stronger Budget.

A Morrison Government offers lower child care costs, targeted preschool assistance, record and growing, real needs-based funding for our schools, a stronger vocational education sector with more apprenticeships, and record university funding driving better student outcomes.

We will do all of this without raising taxes.

In this election, Labor is offering Australian parents, teachers and students $387 billion in new taxes.

This is not a plan. It is a scam.

Last time they tried this, they tanked the economy and the Budget. Labor cut funding to government schools and promised billions of dollars they never delivered.

Bill Shorten’s Labor has already shown it cannot be trusted with our children’s education.

Labor voted against our child care package which has reduced out of pocket costs for parents and made child care more affordable.

Under the previous Labor government, child care fees skyrocketed by more than 50 per cent while significant government funding was fraudulently chewed up by crooks and shonks when Labor cut the number of compliance checks on child care services.

In government, Labor’s inability to manage the Budget resulted in a funding cliff for schools, no commitment to better outcomes, and a blowout in fraud and waste in vocational education and family day care.

Labor was the only government in the last decade to cut funding to government schools and

Bill Shorten was the Education Minister who cut $1.2 billion from public schools.

That’s what happens when you can’t manage the economy.

Labor’s education policies mean that, when they make a promise, you and your children will pay for it.

When Labor established the Building the Education Revolution fund, Australians saw up to $8 billion wasted. This was money that could have gone to training teachers, buying school resources or student wellbeing.

Under Labor, student grades went down and our global rankings suffered.

Labor’s failed VET FEE-HELP scheme left thousands of students with debts and no qualification – and caused significant reputational damage to the VET sector.

Whatever Labor promises on education, they cannot manage the Budget and cannot keep their promises. We have seen it before.

Thanks to our strong economy and the first Budget surplus in over a decade, only the Morrison Government can deliver the reforms needed to boost student outcomes and support students, parents, teachers and schools with guaranteed improvements and guaranteed funding into the future.

The choice is clear on education: the Liberal and Nationals Government has a plan while Labor has a scam.

The Choice

COST

In addition to the $45 billion we will invest in education in 2019-20, and complementary policies released in the Budget, the Liberal and Nationals Government will invest an additional $25.8 million in our plan for quality education, on top of the previously announced measures in Our Plan for Regional Australia.