Christopher Pyne has announced nearly $17m in “extra funding” for the Australian Institute for Teaching and Learning (AITSL), a year after the government’s first budget revealed $15m in savings from the same agency.
The education minister said the $16.9m provided over four years would improve initial teacher education and ensure graduates were “classroom ready”.
“The investment I announce today shows we are serious when it comes to ensuring young Australians get the best education available by making sure our teachers are better trained,” he said.
But the funding follows previous belt-tightening at AITSL. Budget papers said the government would achieve savings of $19.9m over five years “through efficiencies in the operations” of the agency, “including a refocus on core priorities”.
Those cuts included funding that had been allocated to the AITSL by the former Gillard government for the Gonski-related national plan for school improvement.
The president of the Australian Education Union, Correna Haythorpe, said the $17m in funding would not eliminate the need for schools to be properly resourced.he said the announcement “could not compensate for the damage to school budgets if the Abbott government failed to honour the last two years of Gonski agreements in 2018 and 2019”.
From the Guardian