4.5 Education Portfolio

The Department of Education is responsible for national policies and programmes that help Australians access quality and affordable childcare, early childhood education, school education, post-school, higher education, research grants, international education and academic research. All of these policy areas are important for improving Australia’s future productivity and wellbeing.

The Education Portfolio receives total resourcing of $27.2 billion, of which $27.0 billion is administered, and $269.5 million is departmental. Around 2,600 people are employed in the portfolio.

The Minister administers 30 pieces of legislation ranging from theChild Care Act 1972, to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority Act 2008and theHigher Education Support Act 2003.

Table 4.5.1: Portfolio resourcing: Education

Funding ($'000)

Staffing

Entity

Departmental

Administered

Total

ASL

Department of Education

               213,468

         26,069,487

         26,282,955

         2,160

Australian Research Council

                 22,585

               897,068

               919,653

             120

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and TSI Studies

                 13,375

                            -

                  13,375

             118

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

                 20,025

                            -

                  20,025

               99

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited

 *

 *

 *

               68

PORTFOLIO (1)

269,453

26,966,555

27,236,008

2,565

Source: Department of Finance. 201314 Budget updated for machinery of government changes.
(1) As individual entity resourcing includes inter-agency transfers and payments, total resourcing for the portfolio may be overstated by this amount.

The Portfolio has responsibility for research grants, and for the Australian Research Council (ARC), which administers around $900 million in research funding each year. The ARC runs multiple national competitive grants programmes, including ARC Centres of Excellence, six streams of Discovery grants which fund basic research, six streams of Linkage grants which encourage collaboration between higher education researchers and other parts of the national innovation system, and a range of special research initiatives.

The Portfolio also contains the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) — the national research and collecting institution for information and research about the cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, past and present. AIATSIS has departmental funding of $13.4 million per year, and employs 118 people.

The Portfolio contains the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) which is intended to promote excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership.

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) regulates Australia’s higher education providers.

Chart 4.5.1 is a graphical representation of the relative size of bodies within the Education Portfolio.

Chart 4.5.1: Education

This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.

This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.