NSW Budget: Rebuilding public education

The NSW Government has committed nearly $28 billion to education in the 2024-25 Budget.

Students and a teacher weaving with grass. Students and a teacher weaving with grass.

The NSW Government is continuing work to rebuild public education in NSW, with the 2024-25 NSW Budget providing a record investment of $27.9 billion across the Education portfolio – a vital investment in our state’s students and teachers.

Every student in NSW should have access to a quality, free, public education close to home. The NSW Government was elected with a mandate to reinvest in essential services, and that includes giving children the best possible start to life, with a great education.

The NSW Government is lifting its commitment to the Gonski Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) from 72 per cent to 75 per cent in 2025, an additional $481.1 million injection, two years earlier than the former government. The NSW Government remains committed to fighting for full and fair funding for public schools across the State. This additional investment in public schools will be higher than the 2.5 per cent offer the Commonwealth is proposing over 10 years.

The 2024-25 NSW Budget maintains investment to build the essential school infrastructure communities need, rebuild the teaching workforce to lift student outcomes, and expand access to early childhood education, ensuring every child in NSW has a strong start in life.

Building schools at the centre of growing communities

The NSW Government is building better communities with $8.9 billion to continue delivering a massive pipeline of school infrastructure in rapidly growing parts of western Sydney and regional NSW. This includes:

  • $3.6 billion to continue the pipeline of new and upgraded primary and high schools for western Sydney, including a new public school and high school for Box Hill
  • $1.4 billion for new and upgraded schools in regional NSW, including a new public school and high school for Huntlee.

The NSW Government is continuing to make better choices on how and where we spend the public’s money. This vital funding targets growing communities who need it most, and continues work to turn around the backlog of school infrastructure projects inherited after more than a decade of neglect under the former government.

Lifting the standard of our school facilities in record blitz

Hundreds of public schools across metropolitan and regional NSW will also benefit from improved facilities following a $1.08 billion boost for capital maintenance and minor upgrades taking the total maintenance and minor works allocation to $1.5 billion.

  • $600 million for school maintenance work, including planned and preventative maintenance and essential repairs
  • $150 million to boost disability access and provide safety upgrades
  • $200 million to bust the backlog of small upgrades and refurbishments promised to schools but never delivered by the former government.

Projects will focus on lifting standards of important facilities, particularly school bathrooms, as well as improving classrooms, science labs, workshops, performance and arts spaces and vocational education and training (VET) facilities.

Rebuilding the teaching workforce

The NSW Government is continuing to invest in NSW teachers to rebuild the workforce and address the teacher shortage. Having a qualified teacher in front of every class is key to lifting student outcomes, and the NSW Government is working hard to attract and retain teachers in areas where the teacher shortage is most acute.

Initiatives include:

  • A historic pay rise taking NSW’s 95,000 teachers from among the worst paid to the best paid in the country
  • Making 16,589 temporary teachers and support staff permanent under the Temporary Workforce Transition initiative, improving job security so teachers can stay in NSW schools.

To attract more teachers to NSW schools in hard-to-staff areas, the NSW Government is delivering:

  • $1.2 million in 2024-25 to expand support to more than 110 schools experiencing significant teacher staffing challenges through Priority Recruitment Support
  • $700,000 in 2024-25 for the Grow Your Own Local Teacher Pipeline, expanding the program to include western Sydney, Dubbo, Queanbeyan and the Murray.

There is more to do, but these changes are making a difference. Teacher vacancies are already down, with a 20 per cent drop at the start of the 2024 school year compared to the same time in 2023.

Expanding access and affordability for early childhood education

The 2024-25 NSW Budget provides ongoing cost of living relief for families, increases access to preschool and continues the work of expanding the early childhood workforce.

Our $769 million commitment for 100 new public preschools in NSW by 2027 will double the number of public preschools across the state and allow more than 9000 additional children to benefit from quality early childhood education in the year before school.

We have also committed $60 million towards new and upgraded preschools at non-government schools.

We know people across the state are doing it tough, and it’s becoming increasingly hard for families in NSW to make ends meet. This Budget provides over $430 million in preschool fee relief for 2024-25.

This funding includes the expanded Start Strong program which provides $500 in fee relief for up to 64,000 families with three-year-olds in long daycare. It’s estimated more than 200,000 enrolments will be eligible for NSW Government fee relief up to $4220 per year.

Other initiatives include:

  • The two-year, $20 million Flexible Initiatives Trial which aims to address barriers to workforce participation by promoting flexible hours in early learning
  • $17.1 million to deliver scholarships and professional learning, which builds on the previous record investment of $12.3 million last financial year with more than 2000 scholarships awarded
  • $5.3 million Business Capability Development Program to help small providers to thrive and support their local communities with high quality services
  • $20 million for capital grants to increase the number of places at community preschools for children in areas with immediate need
  • $10 million partnership with TAFE NSW to support early childhood educators and teachers to access professional learning, launching in Spring 2024.

The NSW Government is delivering a plan to build a stronger, more accessible public education system.

This Budget builds on the work we have already done to address over a decade of neglect, to ensure that students across NSW can attend a public school close to home, and that all families can access the early childhood support they need.

  • Ministerial media releases
  • News
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