Rebuilding public education with record investment in teachers and schools
The Minns Labor government is delivering on its election commitment to begin the long-term repair of public education in NSW.
The 2023–2024 NSW Budget has committed a record investment in quality teaching and essential school infrastructure ensuring all children in NSW have the best possible start in life.
Reinvesting our teaching workforce:
The Minns Labor government is addressing the teacher shortage crisis in our public schools through a historic pay rise that will help recruit and retain high quality teachers, as well as moving more qualified teachers out of desk jobs and back into the classroom.
The 4-year agreement is a nation-leading investment in our 95,000 teachers which will ensure our children are taught by teachers who know their contribution is valued.
This offer will take some of the state’s teachers from the worst paid to the best paid in the country.
The 2023-24 Budget also includes:
- The conversion of 16,000 teachers and administrative staff to permanent positions. As of September this year 16,000 teachers and support staff have accepted offers.
- A $20 million boost to the Innovative Teacher Training Fund to attract the best teachers
Rebuilding education infrastructure:
The NSW Government is increasing investment in our schools, TAFEs and public preschools with $9.8 billion over the next 4 years to provide the public education system that our growing communities need. This includes:
- $3.5 billion over 4 years for 24 new and 51 upgraded primary and high schools in Western Sydney.
- These include new high schools for Jordan Springs, Schofields/Tallawong, Gregory Hills/Gledswood Hills, Leppington/Denham Court and Melrose Park, and a new primary school for Sydney Olympic Park (Carter St precinct).
- $1.4 billion over 4 years for new schools in Regional NSW.
- Including new high schools at Medowie and Googong and a new primary school at South Nowra, as well as schools promised by the former government.
Supporting better education outcomes:
The NSW Government is addressing declining education outcomes exacerbated by teacher shortages and neglected schools. This budget begins the long-term rebuilding of our education system, with an Education Future Fund to deliver new programs, including:
- $278.4 million for permanent literacy and numeracy tutoring programs in primary and secondary schools.
- 250 additional school counsellors to support students with mental health needs.
- $8 million to double the School Breakfast 4 Health program to 1,000 schools.
- $17.8 million for Community Languages Schools Program.
Path to universal preschool:
This budget maintains the $5 billion investment over 10 years in the Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund and the $5.7 billion funding over 10 years for universal preschool access.
We are taking the first steps to deliver universal preschool access and ensure all families can benefit from early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. The budget invests $849 million in new ECEC services to increase access and put downward pressure on prices. This includes:
- Fast tracking $769.3 million for 100 new preschools on public school sites.
- $60 million towards new and upgraded non-government preschools.
- Up to $20 million to support the growth of not-for-profit early childhood education services in high demand areas.
The 2023–2024 Budget allocates $1.6 billion towards an expanded preschool fee relief program which includes:
- Saving parents and carers $500 a year by trialling preschool fee relief for 3-year-old children in long day care.
- $4220 per year in fee relief for parents and carers of 3-to-5-year-olds in community and mobile preschools.
- $2110 in fee relief for parents and carers of children aged 4 years and above attending preschool in long day care centres.
We are also delivering additional investments to develop capability in the sector and support the ECEC workforce. This includes:
- Up to $20 million for the Flexible Initiatives Trial to expand access to ECEC, extended hours and assist parents re-entering the workforce.
- $22 million over 5 years to recruit and retain essential early childhood workers including providing professional development and scholarships for tertiary education of early childhood workers.
- Up to $6.5 million for the business capability development program to improve the viability of small and stand-alone services.
- A trial to offer free or low cost ECEC for the children of ECEC teachers and carers.
Rebuilding TAFE and tertiary education:
There has never been a more important time and opportunity to address skills shortages and to provide opportunities for people to gain training, education and employment. This budget includes:
- $112 million to meet the TAFE funding shortfall and a thorough VET review.
- $93.5 million for 1000 extra apprentices across the NSW Government by 2026.
- Fee free vocational education places for training in in-demand skills and industries and fee concessions for Commonwealth welfare beneficiaries and people with a disability to undertake Certificate IV and below qualifications through the Smart and Skilled program.
Cutting waste to focus on the core job of educating:
The Minns Labor government is rebuilding education responsibly. This will include:
- Saving more than $37 million over 4 years by reducing travel expenses across the Department of Education, TAFE NSW and NESA.
- Cutting spending on external consultants, saving over $6 million over 4 years.
- Saving more than $8 million by managing legal costs, and cutting spending on advertising, saving $26 million over 4 years.