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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 2040

Education


Mr MURPHY (Reid) (14:28): My question is to the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth. Minister, will you update the House on the government's education reform agenda, and how will the government keep delivering better and more educational opportunities for our children and young people?


Mr GARRETT (Kingsford SmithMinister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth) (14:28): The educational achievements of this Labor government are considerable. We take education seriously, and our commitment to make every school a great school is a commitment that we are delivering on. We have doubled investment in education to over $65 billion, including significant investment in national partnerships, where we work with the states to make sure that kids right around the country get the investment they need in their schools. I thank the member for Reid for his question because he has some 10 schools in his electorate benefiting from funding under the National Partnership on Low Socio-economic Status School Communities—which, incidentally, the opposition has said it will cut, so I know the honourable member realises how important this is.

We have put additional investment into teacher quality because the research tells us that this is the most important thing in improving student results. We have invested in national teacher standards to raise teacher quality. We got that done. We said that we would introduce a national curriculum and we got that done. We now have the first ever national curriculum being taught in Australian schools as we speak. We have delivered over 900,000 computers to every Australian secondary student in years 9 to 12 for this year's schooling.

We said that we would review funding for schooling, and we got that done as well. Last week, the Gonski review on education funding was released and it was well received and praised by almost every education stakeholder—with the notable exception of the member for Sturt. He went out on his own to recycle the hit list scaremongering routine, but no-one was listening.

I was asked about the government delivering better education opportunities for young people. Last Friday, the Prime Minister and I launched the third version of the My School website, providing additional transparency and information for schools and parents. What does it tell us about the investments that we have made and are making? There was one fantastic statistic that can be seen on My School that I want to let the House know about. In 2010, we had 17 literacy and numeracy national partnership schools with results that were substantially below similar schools on My School. In 2012 none of these schools are in this category. That is an absolutely fantastic achievement. The point about this is that this is good education policy in practice. This is delivering on the commitments that we have made to make sure that every kid in every school in Australia gets the best opportunity to get the best education that they can.

We hear bleats, squawks and scare campaigns from those opposite, along with the promise of $2.8 billion in cuts to education. But when it comes to education, those on this side of the House—Labor—deliver. (Time expired)