Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced agreements with South Australia and the ACT on independent public school funding.

When is a delay not a delay?

The federal government is trumpeting deals on school autonomy months after they were signed with two Labor state governments.

But a spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne says he wouldn’t characterise the wait as a delay.

Mr Pyne issued statements on Wednesday morning about funding $5.5 million for South Australia and $910,000 for the ACT from the federal independent public schools initiative.

The federal government wants its $70 million fund to be used to encourage public schools to become autonomous, with principals, rather education departments, having control over operations.

The ACT will use the money to pay for professional development and training for school governing bodies and principals.

It isn’t necessarily going to push schools to become fully autonomous.

AAP understands the deal with the territory was done in July but the ACT government was asked not to reveal details publicly until the federal minister’s office was ready.

It’s also understood the SA deal was reached in late June.

Mr Pyne announced funding deals with Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory early last week and with Tasmania in August.

In each case he made a joint statement with the Liberal state minister.

There’s no word about deals with Western Australia or NSW.

The federal plan is modelled on a WA autonomous schools program that has been running for several years.

NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli previously has stressed the importance of maintaining a state-wide public school system.