In Australia, the Australian Government works with state and territory governments to fund school education, set education policy, and develop school curriculum to help all students achieve their full potential regardless of what school they go to or where they live.
Government and non-government schools receive funding from the Australian, state and territory governments.
Funding is available under the National Education Agreement for government schools, and the Schools Assistance Act 2008 for non-government schools.
The Australian Government has developed a new National Plan for School Improvement to ensure every Australian child is able to get a world-class education, regardless of where they live, the school they attend, or their family background.
Parents, principals and the education community can get fair, consistent and accurate information from the Australian Government about how different schools are performing and to determine if young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes.
The My School website contains school performance data and other information on Australian schools. Parents, teachers, principals and the community can search profiles of almost 10,000 Australian schools.
Every year, all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are assessed using national tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
This assessment is called the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and the data is comparable nationally and allows the monitoring of student progress over time. Results of these assessments also help determine whether or not students are meeting important educational outcomes.
The Australian Curriculum provides teachers and parents with a clear understanding of what needs to be covered in each school subject from Foundation to Year 12. This includes teaching and assessment standards.
The Empowering Local Schools initiative is funded through the Australian Government and supports participating schools to make more decisions at a local level.
Over time, this support will help these schools to better respond to the needs of their students and their local school community.
Non-government education authorities may be able to get financial help from the Australian Government to improve school infrastructure.
This help is available through the Capital Grants Program.
Schools that demonstrate improved performance may be able to get recognition and reward payments from the Australian Government through the Reward for School Improvement program from 2015.
The Australian Government is committed to reducing disadvantage in education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Schooling agenda through a number of programs and initiatives aims to improve reading, writing and numeracy achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, as well as Year 12 attainment rates by 2020.
The Short Term Emergency Assistance program provides financial help to eligible schools when unexpected circumstances or events cause severe and temporary financial difficulty.
To make sure Australian children have the best education possible, the Australian Government is committed to addressing disadvantage, improving literacy and numeracy, as well as supporting teachers.
This commitment has led to the forming of Smarter Schools National Partnerships.
The Australian Government is committed to improving literacy and numeracy skills of students. This approach concentrates on getting the basics right at school in order to offer every student the best chance to excel.
Non-government schools with disadvantaged students may be able to get financial help from the Australian Government through the Literacy, Numeracy and Special Learning Needs Program.
The Australian Government is committed to improving educational outcomes for all Australian students, enhancing the resilience and wellbeing of students and preparing them for life as adults. This is supported through a range of initiatives.
The Australian Government is supporting student resilience and wellbeing through a range of initiatives.
Resilience Education and Drug Information (REDI) was developed in 2003 to provide information to school communities on effective drug education, managing drug use issues and drug-related incidents in schools.
The National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program provides funding to schools to access the services of a school chaplain or student welfare worker.
This program aims to help school communities support the spiritual, social and emotional wellbeing of their students.
The Australian Government provides substantial funding to education authorities to help meet the educational needs of all students, including those with disability.
A number of government programs and initiatives are in place to enable students to progress successfully through their schooling and to actively participate in the workforce and their community.
The Australian Government is providing $300 million of additional funding to government and non-government education authorities under the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative.
This additional funding is being provided in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 school years to support services for students with disability and learning difficulties.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations delivers the education component of the Helping Children with Autism package, called Positive Partnerships.
The package supports parents, carers, teachers and other professionals with care for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The National Trade Cadetship will help students to complete vocational studies that will prepare them for careers in industry.
The Trade Training Centres in Schools Program enables eligible secondary schools to seek funding for Trade Training Centres.
These Centres enable eligible secondary schools to offer a broader range of vocational education and training options to students from years 9 to 12.
The National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions supports getting more young people to complete their Year 12 or equivalent qualification and halving the gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in receiving these qualifications.
Young people who are at risk of leaving school or have left school can get support from the Australian Government to continue their education and finish Year 12 or get an equivalent qualification.