In a shocking move for Australian schools and students, Malcolm Turnbull has casually announced he wants to dump Federal involvement in public education.

In a radio interview this morning Malcolm Turnbull announced his plan, saying that the Federal Government had an obligation to fund non-Government schools because he was worried they wouldn’t get a “fair go” – but he didn’t have any such concerns for Australia’s public schools:

“No Coalition Federal Government, I suspect no Federal Government, would retreat from funding or continuing to support the non-Government school sector because there would be a concern that they would not get a fair go from state governments.”


“We knew that Malcolm Turnbull was bad when he walked away from Gonski – but this is a new level of frightening recklessness,” Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis said today.

“Malcolm Turnbull has clearly laid out his priorities – and strengthening Australia’s public education system isn’t one of them.

“What kind of society does Malcolm Turnbull want for Australia? Because walking away from public schooling would have a devastating effect on closing the equity gap in our schools.

“The right of every Australian to access a quality education - regardless of background or circumstance - is the cornerstone of our social and democratic traditions. The Federal Government should be working to advance this, not dragging it backwards.

“It is not acceptable for our school system to be a lottery of state borders. Or for the quality of any child’s education to be determined by where their family happens to live or what school a child goes to.

"The Gonski reforms were Federation reforms, giving states and the Commonwealth clearly outlined responsibilities and making sure every level of Government was working towards a common goal.

"If Malcolm Turnbull wants to clarify federal-state responsibilities, he just needs to keep those agreements, as the Liberals promised."