Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Governments spend $71.5bn on education:

One dollar in every $20 spent on goods and services in Australia in 2009/10 was government funding for education.
Date: January 31 2012
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Federal, state and territory governments spent $71.5 billion on early childhood, school, vocational and higher education in that year, a new report says.

The 2012 annual Report on Government Services, released today, says more than half the governments' education spending went on schools, and about a quarter went to universities.

In March 2010, almost a million children aged under 12 were enrolled in childcare services funded by the federal government.

Another 117,615 attended state and territory-funded child care, and 224,699 were in preschools funded by state and territory governments.

The report, commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments, also looked at how ready young children were to start school because "children entering school with basic skills for life and learning are more likely to have a successful transition to primary school".

Nationally, 77.1% were "developmentally on track" with language and cognitive skills in 2009.

More than 80% of youngsters in NSW, Victoria, SA and the ACT were deemed ready to start formal education, compared with only about 60% of their peers in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The report found about half of children aged three to eight were read to or told stories at home every day, but about 4% were not read to at all.

Of the 3.5 million children enrolled at primary and secondary schools across the country in 2010, almost seven in 10 primary students and six in 10 secondary students were in the public system.

There were 1.8 million students enrolled in vocational education and training (VET) courses, with three-quarters in government-funded programs.

Australia's universities had 1.2 million domestic and international students - an increase of 5.1% from 2009 - two-thirds of them studying for bachelor degrees.

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3 Total Comments
Abigail says: 2012 01 31

Very intersting article on government spending with a lovely photo of the PM in a colour that rally suits her.

Anita says: 2012 01 31

Wahtever we might think about the PM’s commitment to some high profile issues, there can be no doubting her interest in education, so I agree with Anita that the photo was a pleasing and appropriate one to support an interesting article.

Anne says: 2012 01 31

Let’s focus on the main topic of the article - the financial resources expended on education.  This is a timely topic as schools go back.  I would like to know how these figures stack up in comparison with OECD figures and state by state expenditure.

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