ACT Labor to equip our kids for the digital future


ACT Labor knows how important education is.  Lifelong learning is the foundation for prosperity in our second century and ACT Labor wants to make sure every child has the opportunity to thrive in a Connected Capital.

On average, Canberrans are the best educated, best paid and healthiest people in Australia.  ACT Labor has delivered record levels of funding for our teachers, students and better schools.

Our kids are leading the nation in 18 out of 20 numeracy and literacy measures*.  We also lead the nation in computer learning.  Supporting every Canberra student to achieve excellence in education is an integral part of ACT Labor’s vision for education.

ACT Labor is ensuring our kids have the education and skills they need for the future.

That’s why we have provided $28 million worth of ICT and fibre-optic upgrades under the Smart School, Smart Student program with all public schools now connected to high-speed broadband and able to access wireless networks (WiFi).

It’s why we will invest $2.5 million of Smart School, Smart Student grants over the next four years to help fund or subsidise the installation of fast broadband infrastructure in ACT non-government schools.

But there is more to do.

If re-elected ACT Labor will provide $5 million in grants to provide students in high schools and colleges with the education they need to succeed in a digital city.

We want young people to not only use technology, but be able to get a job in technology.  It will include opportunities for schools to partner with industry and local business.

We will also invest $1 million in public primary schools to invest in new library resources like tablets and e-readers.

Policy Costings

ACT Labor will provide a total of $6 million in recurrent funding for ICT innovation grants for public high schools and colleges, and new library resources for public primary schools.

ACT Labor’s plan to equip our kids for the digital future


2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017


Smart School ICT innovation grants






New library resources












Smart School ICT innovation grants – public high schools and colleges

The grants program will deliver $5 million to schools to further students’ education in ICT.

Schools will be supported to use ICT in areas like maths and science as well as increase participation in ICT courses like software development and computer science.

A proportion of funding would be reserved for specific joint partnerships with local business which would bring industry knowledge into schools and help students understand the potential of science, maths and ICT learning.

The grants will be used to:

  • Provide more professional development and support for teachers involved with ICT learning;

  • Encourage more students, in particular female students, to take up ICT courses such as computer science and software development;

  • Supply students in science, mathematics and technical courses with programmable mini-computers and appropriate software;

  • Provide more support for college students to enter into early-entry university ‘H’ courses in maths, science, engineering and ICT.

  • Host ‘hack-days’ and development events for students in collaboration with business and industry; and

  • Develop virtual smartphone or tablet based curriculum and student resources for individual schools (based on the successful Hawker College initiative)

Investment in new library resources – public primary schools

This program will deliver $1 million in grants to students in public primary schools, delivering more resources to school libraries to encourage reading and digital literacy.

This funding will support the excellent level of existing literacy within public primary schools, as well as introducing students to the exciting possibilities of online learning and digital literacy from a young age.

Students will be able enjoy a range of new reading resources including:

  • Digital tablets and e-readers;
  • Computer and video conferencing infrastructure;
  • Books and e-books; and
  • Journal, magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

ACT Labor believes that school teacher-librarians remain best placed to manage the roll out of these modern resources in school libraries.  As such, a condition of the annual grant will be that the school maintains a teacher-librarian.

*Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, NAPLAN Achievement in Reading, Persuasive Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy: National Report for 2011,Sydney, 2011.