Now, more than ever, education is essential for each Australian’s best life and is crucial to our national prosperity. For Australia to prosper in a post-coronavirus world, we must develop world-class education and training institutions and be one of the most highly educated and skilled nations on earth. This requires investment and improvement in education at all levels: early childhood, the primary and secondary years, and post-secondary education.
The Labor Party believes that Australians have the right to a high-quality education, regardless of their social background. The greatest gift Australia can give all our children is an excellent education— one that helps them find their passion, make the most of their potential and be well equipped to live life and fully participate in our democracy and in the workforce.
Quality education in the early years is crucial for a child’s development and reducing social disadvantage. Early childhood education should be universally available, accessible, affordable and of the highest quality.
A strong, equitable and well-performing school system is the best opportunity we have to make the most of our strengths and to reverse disadvantage, giving all young people a solid foundation for the future. Every Australian in every community should have access to free, secular, high quality government schooling and government policies should enable this. Adequate public funding is necessary for quality public education and training.
Labor will ensure access to higher education is based on talent and hard work, not on a student’s bank balance or family income. We will increase access to higher education for students from low income, regional, or disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.
Australia needs excellence in all aspects of higher and tertiary education from teaching and learning, to research and engagement with industry and the community. Universities and TAFEs are critical drivers of social and economic wellbeing within their regions and are essential to ensuring Australia’s future prosperity. As public institutions, universities and TAFEs must work with governments to address the national interest and ensure our nation continues to build prosperity in a rapidly changing world. This includes ensuring TAFE is recognised alongside the university sector as a critical part of the post-school system.
Underpinning Labor's policies on education is the belief that universal, high quality early childhood, school and higher education is a necessary condition of social justice, prosperity and opportunity. No child or student should miss out on achieving their potential because of the means of their family, where they live or their background.