Teachers unite against Turnbull’s catastrophic cuts to public schools

23 February 2018

The Australian Education Union’s national conference commences in Melbourne today, with the Turnbull Government’s cuts to public schools and TAFE the first order of business. Party leaders Bill Shorten and Richard Di Natale will address the conference. Malcolm Turnbull did not respond to an invitation to attend.

“Today’s conference is about planning for the funding fight ahead. Malcolm Turnbull has cut $1.9 billion from public schools and hundreds of millions from TAFE,” said Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian Education Union.

“We will be discussing the impact of these cuts and our plans to ramp up our public school funding campaign in the year ahead. Of the $2.2 billion Malcolm Turnbull has from schools in the next two years, 86 percent will be cut from public

schools. Principals, teachers, support staff and students see the direct impact of these cuts.

“Malcolm Turnbull is the Prime Minister for private schools. He has walked away from public schools, only allocating 20 percent of federal funding to public schools.

“Both federal and state funding is vitally important so public schools can address educational inequality.

“Turnbull’s cuts to public schools are cruel and catastrophic. Big cuts require a big response and our members are ready for action. We won’t stand by while the Turnbull Government fails to fully fund public education.

“Most recently, the Close The Gap report highlighted how students most in need continue to experience unacceptable achievement gaps and we know that the only way to close the gap is to close the resource gap for schools.

“Education is a fundamental human right. Our members around the country are in classrooms every day helping the students who most need their help to succeed. They need state of the art facilities for teaching and learning however public schools currently get no capital funding from the Federal Government.

“All public schools should have been able to meet the learning needs of children with disabilities. However, Malcolm Turnbull has slashed disability funding by up to 45% in five states. What this means is that children living with disability may miss out on the opportunities they deserve to succeed.

“Public education is the fastest growing school sector in Australia, but public schools are underfunded. We call on Malcolm Turnbull to fully fund public schools. Across the country, the Australian Education Union is campaigning to change the rules for public school students who are missing out.

“We will continue to campaign to make preschool free and accessible for all 3 and 4- year olds.

“We will put public TAFEs back at the centre of our skills and training system. It is not good enough that the Turnbull Government cut $177 million from TAFE in the last budget alone.

“As we celebrate the 25thanniversary of the Australian Education Union today, we pledge to fight for public education which is the bedrock of our communities, but most importantly for our students, who deserve equal access to a quality education,” said Ms Haythorpe.



Media are invited to attend the following sessions:

1:00PM - Correna Haythorpe, Federal President of the Australian Education Union 2:00PM – Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens

2:20PM – Bill Shorten, Leader of the Australian Labor Party


Australian Education Union, Victoria

126 Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford, Victoria

Media Contact: Rosina Rayns 0401 991 792