Education funding equity and working hand-in-hand with the teaching profession top the key areas for government action in the latest OECD Education Policy Outlook for Australia.
Australian Education Union (AEU) Federal President Correna Haythorpe said the outlook backed the AEU’s policy agenda for equity in education.
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“While the OECD makes it clear that Australian students perform well compared internationally, our PISA performance continues to decline and there are significant gaps in literacy and numeracy proficiency among 15-years-olds.
“There are also gaps in achievement for students with additional needs and students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the majority of whom are enrolled in public schools.
“The OECD Outlook makes clear the urgent need to address the fundamental and enduring inequities in education in Australia.
“It also highlights the need to consult and work with the teaching profession at all stages,” Ms Haythorpe said.
The AEU urges all governments to review the Outlook and take the following steps:
- Improve funding efficiency and equity by ensuring all schools are on a pathway to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard, as Federal Labor committed to during the 2022 Federal Election.
- Address the gap in funding for public schools that has persisted throughout the funding agreements between the states and territories and the Commonwealth.
- Improve funding for TAFE and school-based vocational education pathways for students.
- Invest in at least two years of early education for all Australian children in the years prior to school.
- Work with the teaching profession to better understand the professional needs of principals, teachers and education support staff in the midst of the workforce shortage, including competitive pay and conditions, workload reductions and better professional trust and autonomy.