Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

statement717

Human Rights Council - 29th Regular Session

Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and, the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity

18 June 2015

Australia thanks the Special Rapporteur on the right to education for his report.

Education is fundamental to the development of human potential and to full participation in a democratic society. Australia is committed to the full realization of the right to education.

Australia provides universal, publicly accessible primary and lower secondary schooling which is compulsory and provided either for free or on an affordable basis. Australia also provides funding for tertiary students and certain higher education institutions.

Australia acknowledges the high market value of education services. Education services regularly rank amongst Australia’s five largest services exports. However, we agree with the finding that States should regulate the education sector to ensure quality and equity of access.

The Australian Curriculum sets consistent national standards to improve learning outcomes for all young Australians. Australia also regulates teacher training and supports professional standards for educators.

Australia supports the obligations of non-discrimination in access to education, particularly for vulnerable groups. For example, the Disability Standards for Education (2005) establishes a national approach to the inclusion of people with disabilities in education and the provision of reasonable adjustments by all education providers.

Australia welcomes the distinction between unregulated private education providers and other alternative schools. Australia believes there is a place for alternative and independent education, including faith based schools, within a regulated education system.