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Giving parents, students control over funding the right way

“It’s encouraging that National has taken a bold step towards giving parents and students more control over education funding”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

National’s Education Saver idea is a limited version of the Student Education Accounts announced by ACT earlier this year.

“This shows ACT and National could work together for a bolder, more innovative education system.

National’s policy is limited in terms of the taxpayer funding it allows students to control and applies only to tertiary education. ACT’s Student Education Accounts go much further.

“We will give every child a Student Education Account at the age of two. Each year until a student is 18, $12,000 will be placed into that Account. At the age of 18, they will receive a further $30,000 for tertiary education, with up to $50,000 available top academic achievers through a scholarship program. Over half of students will receive a scholarship.

“Parents will be able to spend that money at any registered education institution, public or private, that will accept their child's enrolment. If parents and children are satisfied with the education they are receiving, they can stay at their current school. If not, they can use the funding in their Student Education Account to receive a better education.

“Taxpayers spend almost $15 billion on education each year, but 40 per cent of Year 12 students failed to meet international benchmarks for literacy and numeracy in 2014. Parents have little control over how education funding is spent. We could get much better value for that money for all children, but especially disadvantaged children, if it was used to empower families to choose their school.

“It’s also promising that National has recommitted to ACT’s partnership schools.

“National will need a strong ACT Party after the election in order to make sure it implements these ideas and goes even further.

“ACT is happy to provide ideas to National, because, if we don’t, who else will?”

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