Record $14.4 billion for education, training and early childhood education

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government's 2014-15 Budget includes a record $14.4 billion for education, training and early childhood education - an increase of $612 million on last year's expenditure.

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the education budget has increased by more than $2 billion since the NSW Liberals & Nationals came to government.

"Included in the Budget is $230 million of additional funding across all school sectors as part of the ‘Gonski agreement', which will deepen and accelerate the significant reforms already underway in NSW including Great Teaching, Inspired Learning; Local Schools, Local Decisions; the needs based Resource Allocation Model; and  the Rural and Remote Education Blueprint for Action," Mr Piccoli said.

"Importantly, this Budget delivers on NSW's commitment to fully fund its $1.76 billion commitment under ‘Gonski'. Where the Commonwealth Government refused to fund its share of the Agreement beyond 2017, NSW has kept faith with school communities around the State by allocating additional funds across the forward estimates.

"The 2014-15 Budget provides spending of $10.7 billion on government schools, including $347 million for school maintenance. In addition, $400 million will be spent on capital works upgrading and providing new school facilities.

"Funding is provided for two new public schools including a new school for students with special needs to be built at Glenmore Park, while 14 new major school projects will be undertaken. This includes a major redevelopment of Hunter Sports High School, new permanent classrooms for Point Clare Public School and Wilton Public School and a complete redevelopment for Lucas Gardens School for Specific Purposes.

"New school projects as part of this Budget will deliver an additional 256 new permanent classrooms. Since 2011, 694 new permanent classrooms have been announced, which reduce the need for demountables in our schools.

"Since March 2011, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has committed almost $3.2 billion to school infrastructure and maintenance. In just over three years, 18 new or relocated public schools and 44 major upgrades have been announced.

"Funding of $1.04 billion is provided for non-government schools, an increase of 4 per cent on last year's expenditure."

Mr Piccoli said the Budget also provides $2.3 billion for vocational education, including $1.86 billion for TAFE NSW.

"This represents an increase of $125 million for vocational education and training on last year's expenditure. The vocational education and training budget has increased by 11 per cent since March 2011, and this year's Budget includes funding for the Smart and Skilled reforms which will provide students with greater choice in training courses," Mr Piccoli said.

"TAFE NSW has a capital program of $77 million in 2014-15. This includes funding for new facilities to meet industry standards, such as a major upgrade to Hunter Institute – Newcastle campus, IT projects and ongoing major capital works.

"Spending on early childhood education and care comprises $361 million, including funds from National Partnerships, which will support and regulate the sector, including funding to maintain universal access to quality early childhood education in the year before school," Mr Piccoli said.

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