A look at the state of education in NSW shows that the government is struggling to meet its education target of 100 per cent of students by 2020-21.
While it is currently only about 20 per cent, the government’s target is already higher than the national average, and is likely to rise further.
Education Minister Luke Donnellan said on Wednesday the government was working to ensure all children were receiving quality education.
“Our focus is on improving the efficiency of our system so that it delivers the education that’s right for our young people, regardless of their circumstances,” he said.
The government has already pledged to provide free primary and secondary education to all students aged 12 to 18.
Mr Donnellans response was that he would only increase the target to 100 per, in line with the government target.
He said the government would not change its policy on free primary education to give a greater emphasis on the achievement of young people.
This is a policy that is based on evidence, he said, and will not change in a short period of time.
However, Education Minister Luke Doherty said the goal was to have all children receive a quality education and he hoped that the “predictable and reliable” system would continue to deliver the best outcomes for children.
I don’t think we have the capacity or capacity to achieve that, he told the ABC’s Insiders program.
It will be a good idea for the next Government to be prepared to make changes to that policy.
What do we know about free education?
What we do know about the state’s education system comes from a study commissioned by the Commonwealth and the Education Department.
More than 500,000 students attended schools in the 2016-17 school year, of which around 40 per cent were eligible for free or reduced-price primary and free secondary education.
In the last decade, the number of students in state schools has increased from around 4.7 million in 2013-14 to over 5.5 million in 2020-11.
Of those, around one in five attended state schools.
But the Commonwealth has recently been forced to release figures showing that the number is actually below the state target.
The Commonwealth says it is only getting about 50 per cent or 50 per per cent funded by the federal government.
It has also said that around 60 per cent is being spent on “special needs and vulnerable students”.
The Department of Education’s figures show that of the total enrolled students, nearly one in three was under 18 years of age.
That compares with about one in four in the rest of the country.
In a statement, Mr Donnells Department of Human Services said its system of free secondary and free primary schooling was the best in the nation.
“It is also a model that delivers the best possible outcome for children and parents,” the statement said.
“This is because it focuses on achieving outcomes that are sustainable for the student, including a high level of achievement in mathematics and science.”
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