Schools have been promised $270 million to invest in better infrastructure rolled out over the next two years and an investment of $200 million to help students bounce back from the mental health and wellbeing impacts of Covid.
The Budget delivers funding for 20,000 university places which have now been allocated to support people under-represented at universities doing degrees in areas of skills shortage.
It also delivers $10.5 million to establish a Commonwealth Office for Youth to coordinate across Government and make sure young Australians are involved in developing policies that matter to them.
Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth, Dr Anne Aly commented: “Establishing the Office for Youth will ensure the contributions of young Australians are heard and acted on across government, the first time in almost 10 years the Australian Government is delivering a whole-of government approach for young people.
“Young Australians know best how to shape and address the issues that matter to them, that’s why we’re listening to their valuable insights as we develop government policies.”
$10.5 million will be spent on a new Youth Engagement Model, including the establishment of an Office of Youth, ongoing funding for Australia’s national youth peak – the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, issue-based youth advisory groups and the development of a Youth Engagement Strategy.
Key Budget Measures for schools:
- $270.8 million over two years for measures to upgrade school infrastructure.
- $56.2 million for bursaries to attract more high-achievers into teaching.
- $68.3 million to expand the High Achieving Teachers (HAT) program.
- $27.6 million for other measures to tackle teacher shortages and better prepare student teachers for the classroom.
- $203.7 million to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students after COVID.
- $83.5 million to support schools to provide evidence-based, age-appropriate respectful relationships education developed by experts implementing a recommendation of the Respect@Work Report.
- $14.1 million to a plan to teach First Nations languages in primary schools.
Minister for Education Jason Clare said: “We know that nine out of 10 jobs in the future will require tertiary qualifications – that’s why what we do in our schools. TAFEs and universities matters.
“This Budget invests in measures that open the door of opportunity wider for Australians from all backgrounds.”
The Budget also makes some key promises to Higher Education that will impact school leavers affected by the pandemic:
- $485.5 million over the forward estimates to provide up to 20,000 additional university places.
- $2.7 million to develop the Australian Universities Accord.
- $15.4 million in a Startup Year program to help university students turn their ideas into reality.
- A saving of $144.1 million by ending the 10% discount given to students who make an upfront payment to their HECS-HELP loans.