GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES IN EDUCATION
State and territory governments' responsibilities in education and training include: the constitutional responsibility for providing schooling to all school-aged children; the major financial responsibility for government school education and contributing funds to non-government schools; and regulating school activities and policies. They determine curricula, course accreditation, student assessment and awards for both government and non-government schools. They are responsible both for the administration and major funding of vocational education and training (VET), and for legislation relating to the establishment and accreditation of higher education courses.
The Australian (Commonwealth) Government has special responsibilities in education and training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, international partnerships in education, and financial assistance for students. It is principally responsible for funding non-government schools and higher education institutions, and provides supplementary funding for government schools and VET.
The Australian Government provides special grants to the states and territories for areas of particular need. It also promotes national consistency and coherence in the provision of education and training across Australia. In early-2006 the first of the 25 planned Australian Technical Colleges (ATCs) was opened. ATCs are Australian Government funded schools that offer school-based apprenticeships concurrently with the senior (Years 11-12) school curriculum.
Government responsibilities in education and training extend beyond funding and administration. They have broader responsibility to plan for future demand both for education resources and for particular skills in the Australian workforce. Governments are also responsible for monitoring the performance of education services, and evaluating the outcomes of education.