This week, the government made big announcements about the future funding of schools and universities. Haunted by the unpopular 2014 budget, it is treading more carefully with its new education policies.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham says one of the challenges of the 2014 budget was that there were “a lot of different pieces of policy reform all announced simultaneously”.
Birmingham – who took on the education portfolio after Christopher Pyne – is at pains to emphasise the government’s preparation this time around. “We’ve gone through, in university reform, a very methodical process – putting out a discussion paper before the last election that aired, if you like, all of the different options and scenarios very openly,” Birmingham says.
“In terms of schools funding – I’ve met with David Gonski, members of his panel, I’ve had numerous discussions with state and territory ministers, with independent and non-government Catholic school representatives.”