28 June 2017
Media Release - #2017059, 2017

Extra funding announced for NT schools

Joint media release with
Senator The Hon. Nigel Scullion
Minister for Indigenous Affairs
Senator for the Northern Territory
and
Senator The Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
Senator for South Australia

Public schools across the Northern Territory are set for a $78.5 million funding boost from the Turnbull Government on top of the $263 million a year increase in needs-based funding set to flow to NT schools.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and NT Senator Nigel Scullion today announced the ongoing additional funding Senator Scullion has secured for NT public schools as part of the Turnbull Government’s needs-based funding reforms that passed Parliament late last week.

“Since we announced our Gonski needs-based funding plan in May, I’ve been working hard with the Treasurer and Education Minister to ensure NT students get the ongoing funding support they need,” Senator Scullion said.

“We know that NT students have additional needs that require additional funding support. That’s exactly what we’re delivering, with per student funding support 53 per cent higher than the national average.

“On top of the $263 million yearly funding increase our Gonski needs-based funding plan delivers for NT schools, this $78.5 million will help accelerate evidence based reforms to improve student outcomes for some of our most vulnerable children.

“Our Gonski needs-based funding plan will ensure NT schools get their fair share of funding from the Federal Government but it also sets an expectation that the Gunner Labor Government will have to properly fund our schools. States and territories will be held to account for whether they deliver at least 75 per cent of the ‘Schooling Resource Standard’ for public schools, the funding benchmark experts say is needed for each student to succeed. At the moment states like Western Australia and Tasmania exceed this benchmark but the NT Government only provides about 67 per cent.

“The Turnbull Government is backing NT students and delivering needs-based funding. It’s time for Michael Gunner and his Government to do their bit to support Territory schools.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison said Senator Scullion had been a vocal advocate in Canberra for the additional support for Territory students.

“Senator Scullion’s loud and persistent advocacy around the Cabinet table has paid dividends for NT schools,” the Treasurer said.

“Senator Scullion outlined exactly what this additional funding for NT students means and will help us achieve our goal of ensuring that students receive the support they need, regardless of where they live.

“This is a fully-funded commitment. The Turnbull Government is putting real money on the table for real students and real schools.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said he looked forward to seeing how the additional investment in NT schools was helping Territory students achieve their full potential.

“This record and growing level of investment from the Federal Government will open doors for NT students and ensure they get the support they need to succeed,” Minister Birmingham said.

“While a strong level of funding for schools is vital, what’s more important is how that funding is used. With funding locked in now, it’s time for the conversation to focus on the quality reforms in schools that will boost student outcomes.

“That’s exactly why the Turnbull Government has asked David Gonski to chair a panel of experts to deliver a review of how our extra Commonwealth funding should be used by Australian schools to improve student achievement and school performance.”