Federal Labor calls on the Liberals to properly fund schools to ensure no student is left behind

Feb 1, 2017

Today The Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek and the Member for Shortland Pat Conroy visited St Mary’s Catholic College in Gateshead to see the positive results of the Labor’s extra funding for schools.

The Director of Schools for the Catholic Schools Office of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, Dr Michael Slattery said St Mary’s is already seeing the benefits of the additional money.

“St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead, is one of two schools within our diocese that is currently in key planning phase to introduce Years 11 and 12 over 2018 and 2019 which requires substantial development and construction of the school. The extra funding is providing St Mary’s with the required resources to introduce senior classes including planning and teaching staff and enhanced facilities to support the delivery of VET Courses, particularly in Hospitality and Construction. VET courses lead to jobs and to further study at TAFE, so they are integral to ensuring ongoing employment for our students long after school. Without such support and assurance of funding these reforms offer, we would struggle to meet the needs of our students and wider community,” Dr Slattery said.

“At this time of year, as school goes back, many parents are thinking about their kids’ education, and what the future holds. Under Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals, the future for schools in Shortland looks grim. Nationwide, the Liberals are cutting $30 billion from schools – that’s like sacking one in seven teachers,” Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek said.

All 56 of the schools within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have greatly benefited from Labor’s extra funding, with the money providing specialised support for students and regional primary schools and enabling significant growth of the school system to cater to the increasing number of families.

In the Diocese, the extra funding allows for the enhanced provision of technology available to schools, support for students with special learning needs, greater staffing at low socio-economic status schools, the development of specialist programs that support gifted and talented students and support for the increasing number of indigenous students enrolling in local Catholic schools.

Pat Conroy, the Federal Member for Shortland said: “The Government’s cuts are selling our kids short. In my electorate, schools will miss out on $33 million of funding. Across the Hunter $140 million will be cut, and in NSW they’re ripping out $1.4 billion. They can find money for a tax cut for big business but at the cost of our kids’ education, it’s appalling.”

The Coalition’s cuts will hurt student’s academic performance. The cuts will mean fewer teachers and less one-on-one attention for students that require extra help with their study.
Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals are cutting funding from schools because they think you should only get a good education if you can afford to pay.

Only Labor can be trusted to look after the education of all of Australia’s students. The Government needs to properly fund our schools to ensure our kids keep pace in a rapidly changing and competitive world. Labor will fund schools more so they achieve better results and that no student is left behind.

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