Skip to content
Education Training, Political

Celebrating A Decade of School Funding Progress – But More Is Needed From The States

Christian Schools Australia 3 mins read
Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy, Christian Schools Australia

EMBARGOED: 26 June 2023 – 12:01am

Celebrating A Decade of School Funding Progress –
But More Is Needed From The States


Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Australian Education Bill 2013 (Cth), introduced by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, a bill which established for the first time in Commonwealth law “… a needs-based funding model for schools applied consistently across all schools”.

When announcing the Gonski Review which led to this funding model Ms Gilliard, as Education Minister, observed that -

“In the past, the question of school funding has been used to divide the Australian community, to pit school against school and school system against school system.”

But made her commitment clear -

“My intention is not to follow this path, but to seek a constructive and open approach to the questions of school funding” going on to commit to approaching school funding “in a way that treats schools consistently across sectors and focuses on what they need to deliver good educational outcomes, rather than privileging them or punishing them according to their sectoral status”.

The following year the new Education Minister, Peter Garrett reiterated these sentiments indicating that –

“So, the first message from this government then is that the days of debating public versus private schools has passed. Fresh thinking is required to produce policy that recognises that parents choose schools, not systems, and then in the care and education of their children they are not focused on an ideological debate. Recognising this is a necessary prerequisite for any successful reform of school funding policy.”

When introducing the Bill into Parliament Prime Minister Gillard reinforced her commitment to a sector-blind, needs based funding model, focusing on student need -

“There should be Australian government support to educate every Australian child—in the poorest and most remote school—at the best known and best resourced school.

This is a distinctively Labor plan for a matter of the highest Labor purpose: to eradicate the great moral wrong which sees some Australian children denied the transformative power of a great education.”

“Christian schools have supported the ‘Gonksi’ funding model since its very early days”, said Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy at Christian Schools Australia, “as it provided a demonstrably fair and equitable approach to funding the educational needs of students.”

“The bipartisan commitment of Commonwealth governments to fair funding for all students over the last decade since the passage of the Australian Education Bill should be celebrated”, he said, ‘yet the failure of some States and Territories to properly fund their schools is undermining the national approach.”

The Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth) establishes a funding framework where all students receive a base level of funding, means tested for non-government school students, and additional loadings for identified educational needs.  Under the Act the Commonwealth will fund 80% of the needs of non-government schools and 20% of the needs of government schools.  The States and Territories would be responsible for contributing 75 – 80% of the needs of government schools and 15 – 20% of the needs of non-government schools unless otherwise specified in agreements with the Commonwealth.  Recent Commonwealth Education Department calculations have highlighted the shortfall in the funding by some States and Territories of their government schools.

“It is in the national interest for all students to be properly funded”, Mr Spencer said, “Christian schools and many others in the non-government school sector have long advocated for properly government schools”.

“As we mark a decade since the passage of the landmark education funding reform legislation it is well overdue for all States and Territories to commitment to the Commonwealth to appropriately fund their schools”.

“We don’t need another divisive ideological debate”, Mr Spencer said, “the States and Territories lagging behind simply need to make investing in education a priority”.


About us:

About Christian Schools Australia

Christian Schools Australia (CSA) is the largest association of Christian schools in the country and has member schools educating around 75,000 students and employing more than 11,000 staff at more than 180 locations across Australia. CSA member schools provide high quality education within an authentic Christian learning community.

Contact details:

For all media enquiries:

Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy | 0419 419 224


More from this category

  • Education Training, Youth
  • 11/12/2023
  • 15:26
La Trobe University

New partnership to support multicultural youth and students

La Trobe University has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Youth Activating Youth (YAY), a community organisation that supports multicultural Australian youth. The partnership will provide multicultural students at La Trobe with access to a wide range of support services, programs, and engagement opportunities, delivered by YAY. Also, students across a variety of disciplines and areas will have placement opportunities with YAY – for example, La Trobe students studying criminology will spend time working in YAY’s youth justice programs. "The partnership between YAY and La Trobe is a wonderful opportunity for students from La Trobe Law School to contribute…

  • Immigration, Political
  • 11/12/2023
  • 14:52
Sustainable Population Australia

Immigration package is unsustainable and misleads the public

Too little too late: immigration tweaks welcome but results will be far from sustainable SPA Media Release, 11th December 2023 Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) says that, while some aspects of the migration reform package are welcome and long overdue, it falls short in reducing migration to a sustainable level. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil is misleading the Australian people in claiming that these reforms will bring us back to a ‘normal’ and ‘sustainable’ level of population growth, says SPA president Ms Jenny Goldie. “Immigration before the pandemic was in no way sustainable. It was elevated from 2005 by the Howard…

  • Political, Union
  • 11/12/2023
  • 10:21
Unions NSW

Unions NSW embraces migration reforms, but more must be done

The Government’s new skilled visa framework makes it easier for migrant workers to leave exploitative employers and provides clearer pathways to permanent residency, but to fight exploitation the restriction on hours worked by international students must be lifted, according to Unions NSW.Dependency on employers to maintain migration status has been a primary driver of migrant exploitation, Mark Morey, Secretary of Unions NSW said."Ensuring migrant workers can leave unscrupulous employers is a game changer. We routinely see migrant workers put their physical and mental health at risk because they are terrified that reporting their employers could result in them losing their…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time your distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.