Megan O'Connell and Charlene Smith write in The Conversation (29.1.18) that debates over funding commitments dominated most education policy talks in 2017, but inter-governmental discussions look to be extending past the dollar value in 2018 with a number of high profile reports due for release.
'As we see each year, funding is likely to dominate the headlines as major reforms across the early childhood, school, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education sectors will be implemented.
'But with the David Gonski-led panel set to deliver their final report and recommendations from the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, we look forward to education policy discussions extending beyond dollar values.
'In 2017, federal early years education policy was dominated by changes to child care subsidies. The primary narrative was around affordability of child care and enabling parents’ workforce participation.
'Preschool funding also hit the headlines as the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education was given a one-year extension, providing access for the 2018 cohort, but without any ongoing assurance to the sector.
'Funding for preschool should be made an ongoing and permanent commitment, as it is in the school sector. But funding should not be an end point.'