Labor is for Education


Labor stands for accessible and quality education, from the first day in Kindergarten to the first day at work. Good education makes our country stronger, fairer and more prosperous.

Australian students are falling behind the rest of the world. While we have great schools and teachers, we need to do more.

While in Government we committed to building the schools of the future through the $15 billion Better Schools Plan. The plan aimed to help school kids get more individual attention and reach their full potential.

The Liberal Government is cutting $30 billion from our classrooms and two years of funding from the Better Schools Plan, despite promising before the last election they were on a “unity ticket” with Labor on school funding.

The government has also cut the More Support for Students with Disability program, which received $100 million yearly in order to support students with disability, their parents and their carers.

Labor believes that the Liberal Government’s cuts to education are wrong. They show that this government is abandoning its promise to support our schools, students and teachers. 

Your Child. Our Future Plan

Labor’s Your Child. Our Future plan represents the most significant improvement in schools education in Australia for two generations. Improving education is the key to opportunity, to innovation and to the future economic and social prosperity of our nation.

No matter what their background, no matter where they live - city, suburb or in the regions – no matter what type of school they go to – Government, Catholic or Independent, Labor wants every child to have the same chance of succeeding at school, and in life, as any other child in the country.

As part of Your Child. Our Future, the Gonski funding and reforms will be delivered on-time and in-full – and the Turnbull Government’s cuts will be reversed. This $37.3 billion investment will see every child in every school funded on the basis of need.

Read the full details of our plan here.

Supporting STEM in Schools

As our economy responds to technological change, it is vital all Australians are skilled to be able to participate, to secure jobs today and well into the future. Experts predict that 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations will require skills in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

But we know that unless students are interested and engaged in STEM at an early age, they are unlikely to pursue a career in those fields.

A Shorten Labor Government will establish a five year STEM teacher training fund that will support 5,000 primary and secondary teachers per year to undertake professional development in STEM disciplines. Further, Labor will provide 25,000 teaching scholarships over 5 years to new and recent graduates of STEM degrees to encourage them to continue their study and become a STEM teacher. Read our plan in full here.

The Australian Workforce Productivity Agency predicts that in 2025 there could be an undersupply of qualifications for key Information Communication Technology (ICT) occupations, with employment projected to grow between 64 and 72 per cent faster than overall employment growth, and account for around 5 per cent of all employment in 2025.

Labor believes that coding is the literacy of the 21st Century, and every young Australian should be able to read and write the global language of the digital age.

A Labor Government will ensure that computer programming and digital technologies – coding­ – is taught in every primary and secondary Australian school, by a teacher who has had the opportunity to receive training in coding. Read our plan in full here.

Higher Education

In Government, Labor opened up access to Australia’s world class higher education system, while increasing the amount of government funding for each student. As a result, 190,000 more students are at university today, including many more young Australians from indigenous, regional or low-income backgrounds.

But now our universities are under threat as the Liberal Government seeks to cut funding for undergraduate students by 20 per cent and pursue $100,000 degrees that would make talented kids think twice about pursuing a university education.

Those hardest hit by the Liberal Government’s changes would be those who can least afford it: women, students from low-income or regional backgrounds, and graduates who take on important but moderately-paid jobs, like nursing, teaching and community legal work.

Before the election, the Liberal party promised they wouldn’t change how universities were funded. But now they’re trying to cut funding by 20 per cent and allow universities to charge whatever fees they like.

A better Australia is built through investing in education. That’s why we’re fighting back against the Liberal Government’s plans for $100,000 degrees in Parliament and in communities across Australia.

Labor believes that investing in education is the single most important thing we can do to maintain Australia’s prosperity and secure the jobs of the future.

Labor has always been committed to opening access to higher education to more Australians and supporting universities as critical drivers of innovation across the economy.

A Shorten Labor Government will build on this record – not just because it is the fair thing to do, but because our future prosperity depends on it. 

A Shorten Labor Government will increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020; deliver more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university; introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt; invest $31 million to boost the quality of teaching and resources in our universities; and establish an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy. Read our plan in full here.

We will ensure that universities are productive, equitable and accessible – educating the next generation for the jobs of the future.


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