OECD education report a national shame


The latest OECD Education at a Glance report reveals unforgivable cuts to public education spending in Australia during the Covid pandemic, the Greens say. Federal, state and territory governments must properly fund public education to ensure everyone in our community has access to high-quality lifelong learning.

Lines attributable to Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Deputy Leader and spokesperson for Education:

“Decades of neglect has left public education in Australia undervalued and under-resourced. “When disaster struck in 2020, our entire education system was thrown into crisis — from early learning through to university and TAFE. But the government’s response was to cut spending rather than boost it.

“The Albanese government must change course and properly fund public education. The future of this country quite literally depends on it.

“The report reveals an alarming reliance on privately-run childcare compared to OECD countries. Education is a public good, and should never be run for-profit.

“Instead of spending $244 billion on the obscene Stage 3 Tax Cuts, the federal government should be investing in high-quality, fee-free public education for all. The urgency of this investment cannot be overstated.”

Lines attributable to Senator Penny Allman-Payne, Greens spokesperson for Schools:

“The OECD report shows that not only does Australia have one of the most unequal school systems in the developed world, the gap between the haves and have-nots grew even wider during the pandemic.

“While students at the richest schools were able to rely on the best resources and technology to support them through Covid, students at the poorest schools fell back even further.

“We have enough money to deliver a quality education to all students, but far too much is being funnelled into private schools – many of which don’t even need it. We need a fundamental rethink of education funding that prioritises a good public education for all.

“Labor needs to use the new National School Reform Agreement, currently under development, to focus on equity in Australian education, and we need to see more money in this month’s Budget for public schools."