LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the release of the Coalition’s Education policy, which proves that Labor has been guilty of a blatant fear campaign over student education.
“In recent months we’ve had the Labor candidate for Leichhardt, Billy Gordon, repeatedly claim that the Coalition will cut education funding,” Mr Entsch said.
“He has clearly been fed this nonsense by a Labor government that will use whatever lies and spin it can to try and ‘pull one’ over voters’ eyes.
“It’s pretty disappointing that they are choosing to play these desperate political games over the critical issue of our children’s education.”
The policy outlined today by Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne outlines how a Coalition government will improve Australia’s schools – through improved teacher quality, greater parental involvement in decision-making, a sound national curriculum and by delivering funding certainty.
“Can I say, absolutely and unequivocally, to all schools in Leichhardt: your funding is certain,” Mr Entsch stated.
“The Coalition will match Labor dollar-for-dollar over the next four years, while also recognising that improving school standards is about much more than funding.
“We’ll renew the focus on the national curriculum, put a new emphasis on teacher quality and provide local communities with a greater say about how their school is run.
“I think this will be of enormous benefit to our local schools, especially where there are communities with very strong vision about how they want to improve their kids’ education.”
Our Policy for Schools will:
· Deliver stable, simple and sustainable funding to all Australian schools.
· Develop ‘best practice’ guidelines to improve admission standards into teaching courses.
· Improve teacher training programmes by ensuring a greater focus on practical skills.
· Work with the states to promote alternative pathways into teaching.
· End federal Labor’s schools takeover and dismantle Labor’s ‘command and control’ features.
· Provide local communities with a greater say by encouraging around 1,500 existing public schools to become independent public schools by 2017. We will establish a $70 million ‘Independent Public Schools Fund’ to help this occur.
· Match Commonwealth funding for students with disability for 12 months while a new ‘loading formula’ is developed for these students. We believe students with disabilities deserve better support.
· Protect schools by providing $18 million to continue the Secure Schools Programme.
· Restore the focus of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in primary and secondary schools.
· Maintain funding for the ‘Primary Connections: Linking Science with Literacy’ science education programme and the ‘Science by Doing’ programme.
· Assist student literacy in remote areas by investing $22 million in flexible teaching methods for local primary schools.
· Improve the take-up of foreign languages with initiatives targeted at foreign language teaching recruitment, teacher training courses, working with the States and trialling programmes from pre-school to years 11 and 12.
· Review the national curriculum and refocus the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
· Improve NAPLAN turnaround times for results.
· Develop a new school leadership programme modelled around MBA-style executive education.
“Our Policy has been developed following extensive consultations with parents, teachers, principals, state governments and communities about what needs to be done to lift education standards,” Mr Entsch said.
“I’m looking forward to talking about this policy with all these groups over the coming days.”
To view the education policy, click here