2019 Federal Election – a parents’ guide

Who's promising what when it comes to education?

Education is a key issue in the 2019 Federal Election, but finding out information about the who is promising what can be complicated and time consuming. So we have put together some information and tools to help you make an informed decision.

What we are calling for

The APC is calling for the next government of Australia to take action on the following issues:

  1. Quality teaching and raising the status of the teaching profession
  2. Fair and equitable funding based on need for every child, wherever parents choose to send children to school
  3. Resourcing and commensurate funding of initiatives and programs to improve the mental well-being of students
  4. Digital literacy, digital citizenship and equity of access to technology in schools
  5. Positive measures to build strong partnerships between teachers, schools, parents, carers and community.

School electoral interactive map

If you want to know details about your electorate, including schools, sectors, sitting members, candidates and links to party policies, try our interactive electoral map.

This map lets you browse through the current Australian federal electorates as well as 9500+ schools.



Coalition and Labor responses to APC's questions

We asked the Coalition and Labor the following questions about education issues that we know parents are concerned about.

  1. What actions will you take to improve the quality of teaching in schools?
  2. What will you do to assist parents to improve their capacity and capability to prepare their children for formal schooling and to continue this throughout their education?
  3. What are your plans for funding non-government schools?- Will you commit to continuing the funding model recently negotiated with the states and territories and non-government sector?
    - How are you going to take into account the needs of specific groups of children – eg indigenous, rural and remote children, students with disabilities and special educational needs – to ensure equality and opportunity for all?
  1. How are you going to address the increasing problem of mental health issues in children and young people? And more specifically, in schools.
  2. What are your plans on improving digital literacy, digital citizenship and equity of access to technology for children and young people?
  3. What are you going to do to promote positive relationships and communication between parents and teachers and schools?
  4. What are your plans for early childhood education?
  5. What are your plans for post school education?
  6. How are you going to ensure that the education system in Australia is going to adequately prepare children for life beyond school?

The Coalition's responses are below. We are still awaiting Labor's responses.

Summaries of major party policies and promises

Here are summaries of the Coalition and ALP major education policies and promises, including budget pledges.


The Independent Schools Council of Australia publishes up to date summaries of the respective school education policies and announcements of the three major parties. The summaries are in easy to read table form and are assessed against key issues of concern to Independent schools, including:

  • School funding
  • Teaching and curriculum
  • Students with disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Schooling
  • Other policies relating to schools


The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) has its own 2019 Federal Election page full of information and analysis about education issues as they relate to Catholic schools. The NCEC also asked the major parties – Coalition, Labor and the Greens - a number of questions to clarify their policy positions on key issues of importance for Catholic schools.

The four questions we asked were:

  1. As the Commonwealth is the predominant funder of non-government schools, how will your party ensure Catholic schools remain affordable for most Australian families?
  2. What support will your party provide to help Catholic and other non-government schools upgrade learning facilities and keep pace with enrolment growth, given the rising costs of land, construction and classroom technology?
  3. What is your party's position on the right of religious schools to retain faith-based exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation in relation to staffing, enrolment and policy matters?
  4. Catholic schools are providing an increasing number of pre-school services for families that chose Catholic education. What will your party do to support this important stage of early childhood education?

ACT Information

Live in the ACT? Our affiliate APFACTS has pulled together responses on education issues from all the candidates in the ACT. Read their blog to find our more.

What other organisations are calling for

AHISA 2019 Federal Election statement - calls for 'foundational principles to empower national education policy in Australia'

The Association Of Heads of Independent Schools argues: 'For too long, approaches to national school education policy promoted by governments, business and industry sectors and ‘policy-preneurs’ have been dominated by deficit-model thinking about schools. The prevailing narrative about Australian school education is that schools (and teachers and students) are ‘failing’ and therefore in urgent need of repair or radical reform.'

It's calling for a 'strength-based approach to national policy development' which requires governments to:

  1. Embrace and demonstrate national leadership
  2. Trust in and respect the professional expertise of educators
  3. Value and support diversity in schooling provision.

ARACY 2019 Policy Priorities - 'Our Children: They don't vote but they do matter'

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth sets out a range of recommendations for the next Australian Government based on research of need and evidence of what works to prevent problems and improve the wellbeing of young Australians, which includes:

  • Putting kids at the top table: Appointing a Cabinet level minister with overarching responsibility for the wellbeing of Australia’s children
  • National Action Plan for the wellbeing of all Australian children
  • National survey of parents

NCEC - 'The federal government must help to ease the burden on parents if Catholic schools are to meet the needs of future students.'

The National Catholic Education Commission outlined its priorities in its recent newsletter.

'The key issues for Catholic Education at the upcoming federal election are:

  • increased capital funding
  • more resources for early childhood education
  • religious freedom in schools

....With the rising cost of land, construction and classroom technology, Catholic schools cannot continue to rely on parents and the rest of the school community to shoulder the burden of increased capital costs to the same extent into the future.'

The Foundation for Young Australians - 'This election, we're backing young people to get skills for the future'

'Work is changing, and fast. To make sure no young person is left behind, we're rallying for Australian governments to work with young people, industry and educational institutions to ensure young people have a seat at the table now...We want young people’s futures to be front and centre this election. That’s why we’ve launched the Future Skills 2030 Framework, helping young people to succeed at work now and into the future.'


Links to interesting articles

These recent articles are from external media sources. We do not necessarily agree with all the content or opinions in them, but they do raise a number of interesting issues.

'Beyond the dollars: what are the major parties really promising on education?'


'Federal election 2019: Here's where the major parties stand on education'


'Vote 2019: Where the major parties stand on education'


'How has education policy changed under the coalition government?'


'What do the major parties have in store for parents, kids and people on welfare?'


'Both major parties are finally talking about the importance of preschool – here’s why it matters'


'What the next government needs to do to tackle unfairness in school funding'


'Education battleground is in skills and training'


'The parties and their policies'


'STEM is worth investing in, but Australia's major parties offer scant details on policy and funding'