Western Australia is expected to bolster its education sector this financial year after major funding announcements.

The 2024-25 state budget on May 9 allocated $6.8 billion for education, up from the $6.6 billion figure the previous year.

The package comprises $410 million in new and upgraded school facilities, $224.3 million in increased support for students with disabilities, and $15.6 million for early years partnership program.

Education Minister Tony Buti said the $410 million for school facilities was part of the $1.6 billion investment in the forward estimates, or over four years.

In her budget address, Treasurer Rita Saffioti said almost $34 billion would be spent on education and training in the next four years.

“A further $391 million will be invested to meet projected enrolment growth for schools, as well as support students with English as an additional language and students with disability,” she said.

“Importantly, a new feature of this budget is a further $3 million to bolster swimming and water safety programs in WA.”

The funding includes $88.4 million to build three new primary schools and $73.2 million for the second stage of Piara Waters Senior High School.

Other schools to benefit from the record education investment are Caversham Primary School, Mount Hawthorn Education Support Centre, Highgate Primary School, and schools in Wellard East and Dugong, which are in the planning stages.

The state government said public education funding would continue to increase over the forward estimates to accommodate growth in student enrolments.

There was a 1.2 per cent growth in the number of students enrolled in public schools in semester one 2024 compared to the same period last year, according to the state government.


In its 2024-25 budget, the federal government has allocated $30.8 billion to support state education services.

This includes $30.2 billion in quality schools funding to government and non-government schools in all states, with WA to receive $3.14 billion.

Despite the wins for WA, the federal budget’s $5.7 million for disadvantaged independent school students in WA in 2024-25 was down from the $7.5 million allocated in 2023-24.

Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success executive director Shamit Saggar said the federal budget investment in education was a big opportunity to ensure disadvantaged students would not be left behind.

He highlighted the relief for student loans of about $1,200 per student.

“The big message from the treasurer [Jim Chalmers] is his endorsement of substantial managed student growth into the 2030s and beyond, accompanied by an ambitious target of four in five working age Australians obtaining a tertiary qualification,” Professor Saggar said.

“Significantly, future student growth will be managed centrally but, for Australia’s disadvantaged and marginalised students, it will be demand-driven.

“Securing needs-based funding will help ensure that the additional costs of supporting Australia’s disadvantaged students are met.”

He said the federal government appeared to have understood the need for a more student-centric higher education policy.

However, Professor Saggar said there could be an issue with other initiatives announced on the day of the budget, including the creation of a body for the tertiary education system.

“What is less clear from the budget is the extent to which the new Australian Tertiary Education Commission, set to commence in 2025, will drive better student equity outcomes and compel universities to be more accountable for their own outcomes,” he said.

Independent Schools Australia chief executive Graham Catt said there was little news for school education from the budget, with the states and territories continuing to negotiate the national schools agreement and funding.

The state and federal governments will also negotiate a new national school reform agreement, which is due to expire on December 31.

“All schools in all sectors will need resources to enable them to deliver on the government’s ambitions and agenda for education reform,” Mr Catt said.

Despite this, Mr Catt welcomed the $2.4 billion in programs to support Indigenous Australians, which includes $29.1 million over four years for First Nations early childhood bodies to advise the federal government.

“We urge the government to support the Indigenous Boarding Grants Program in the mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook,” he said.

“This will be critical to prevent school closures and adverse impacts on highly disadvantaged and vulnerable students.”