AEU and community leaders meet with minister to call for funding commitment

Several of Australia’s prominent community leaders will join the Australian Education Union at Parliament House today for a meeting with the Minister for Education, The Hon Jason Clare, to discuss the urgent need for the Federal Government to commit to their election promise to fully fund public schools.

Representatives from a range of community organisations including the Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, The Community Council for Australia, Settlement Services International, Welcoming Australia, The Social Policy Group, Australian Council of Trade Unions and The Parenthood will give first-hand accounts of their organisation’s understanding of the critical need to fully fund public schools so that all children and young people can reach their full potential.

Data calculated from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority school profile 2022 highlights that 82% of low socio-educational advantage, 83% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, 67% of students with a disability and 68% of students with a language background other than English attend public schools.

Australia Education Union federal president, Correna Haythorpe said the significance of the data with respect to student enrolment profile emphasises the critical need for the Federal Government to commit to fully funding public schools.

“Public schools cater for the vast majority of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and yet public schools are denied the minimum level of funding needed to address this disadvantage. 

“Only 1.3% of public schools are funded at the Schooling Resource Standard – the minimum amount governments agreed a decade ago was necessary to meet the needs of all students. 

“Principals, teachers and education support personnel are delivering a great education for students in Australia’s public schools, but they are being asked to do too much with too little. Governments must provide the teaching profession with the essential resources and optimal learning environments required to deliver a high-quality education for all.

“Full funding of public schools is a nation-building investment that will pay off for our children and our country. That is why we welcome the commitment of so many community organisations who are prepared to join the campaign for full funding for every child.”

The meeting forms part of the AEU’s nationwide For Every Child campaign where AEU representatives in branded vehicles are travelling through city, regional and remote areas of Australia. Thousands of signed postcards are being collected throughout the trip, with the AEU calling on the PM to negotiate new bilateral school funding agreements with each state and territory government in the next 12 months that ensure that all public schools are resourced at a minimum of 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) by 2028.

Thousands of postcards will be presented to the government at Parliament House next month.

The AEU is encouraging the Australian community to get behind the campaign and head to the For Every Child website at to show their support and send a postcard to the PM.

14 November 2023