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Back to better schools for South Australian students

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Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

Peter Garrett

Back to better schools for South Australian students

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Minister for School Education Peter Garrett today welcomed 259,000 students back to 752 schools across South Australia for the new school year.

Students starting their education journey this year will be part of an education system that will be in the top 5 in the world by the time they leave Year 12 by 2025, under the Government’s National Plan for School Improvement.

"We are giving students the best possible start to their education following record investment and school improvement reforms that will continue through 2013,” Mr Garrett said.

"Students starting school in NSW this year will be attending better equipped schools and have better trained teachers, thanks to the Gillard Government.

"Our National Plan for School Improvement will be implemented from 2014, delivering a fairer funding system and introducing measures that we know will deliver better results for our students.

"Under our plan, there will be higher entry standards for teachers, greater power for school principals, more information for parents, and extra funding for schools and students that need more support.

"This Government believes every child in every school should have access to a great education, which is why in this financial year, we will invest $13.6 billion in our schools,” Mr Garrett said.

"In 2013, we will continue to implement education reforms including ongoing development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum and updating the My School website.”

From this year every teacher in South Australia will have an annual appraisal and receive constructive feedback on their performance, as well as opportunities for further professional development.

A new national partnership for Literacy and Numeracy will see $243 million extra for school literacy and numeracy programs nationally. This will help pay for things likes homework centres and dedicated literacy and numeracy coaches.

This year in South Australia:

• The new Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics, science and history will be taught in government primary schools by the end of the year, and in some independent schools, with teachers receiving continuing professional development. In Catholic schools they will be taught from Foundation to Year 9.

• 83 schools will participate in the Empowering Local Schools initiative, giving school principals greater decision-making powers over things like staffing, budgets and school maintenance.

• $14.5 million under the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative including offering increased access to allied health services in country schools, professional development for teachers in understanding various disabilities, and assistive technology such as iPads and Braille readers.

• At least 160 parents/carers and 80 teachers/school leaders will be supported through the Positive Partnerships program to build their understanding, skills and expertise in working with students with autism spectrum disorder.

• $159.8 million under the Low SES National Partnership, and $35.2 million under the Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership.

An extra $400 million will be made available for Trade Training Centres in schools nationally, giving senior students access to state-of-the-art facilities to explore trade and vocational courses.

"We’ll be delivering almost $1.1 billion to the states and territories to help ensure every four-year-old in the country has access to 15 hours a week of kindergarten or pre-school,” Mr Garrett said.

"And we’re helping make every school a safe school with $4 million to develop new online anti-bullying resources for teachers, students and parents.

"All of this is happening thanks to the Gillard Government’s commitment to education reform. That’s why it’s vital for states and territories to sign up to the National Plan for School Improvement.

"The Opposition has said they want to stick to the current funding model which will see schools lose up to $5.4 billion nationally - our education system can’t afford that.

"They want to sack one in seven teachers, squeeze more kids into classrooms and slash funding to disadvantaged schools.

"Only a Federal Labor Government can be trusted to put the education of SA students first.

"Our commitment to education has already made a real difference to students and schools throughout SA.”

For more information about the Gillard Government’s school improvement plans, visit

Minister’s Media Contact: Kate Sullivan 0409 490 741

For more information

Media Contact: Non-media queries: 1300 363 079