Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: AAP
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: AAP

PM reaches school funding deal

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison and Education Minister Dan Tehan have announced billions of dollars in funding for independent and Catholic schools in a peace deal designed to ease tensions with them.

The government had been locked in conflict with the sector over the Gonski 2.0 school funding model.

This deal is the culmination of months of discussions with the National Catholic Education Commission and the Independent Schools Council of Australia.

"From 2020, the Commonwealth will transition to a new method of calculating how non-state schools are funded that will make the education system fairer and more equitable," Mr Morrison said at a press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard.

The new funding model was recommended by the National School Resourcing Board.

Non-state schools will receive an $3.2 billion over a decade, including $1.1 billion in the next four years.

"For students, this will mean the opportunity to get the best results from school. For parents, it will mean that choice remains affordable. For teachers, it will mean the certainty of having funding so they can get on with the job," Mr Morrison said.

There will be an additional $1.2 billion mechanism, called the Choice and Affordability Fund, to "provide a flexible means to target extra support for those schools in the non-government sector that require extra support".

Mr Morrison cited underperforming schools and those in regional areas as examples of those which could benefit from the fund.

He promised he would also deliver "record levels" of funding to government schools, rising from $7.3 billion this year to $13.7 billion in 2029.

"Our government believes that parents should have choice in education. This has been a fundamental belief of the Liberal and National parties for a very long time," Mr Morrison said.

Mr Tehan thanked the Catholic and independent school sectors for "the very good faith" with which they had approached the negotiations.



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