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Back to better schools for Wakefield students

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Friday 25 January 2013

Back to better schools for Wakefield students

Thousands of students in Wakefield will be back to school, in what will be a significant year for education reform in Australia.

Nick Champion said students across the nation are returning to schools made even better by the Gillard Government’s record investment in education.

“Every child in every school should have access to a great education. That’s why the Gillard Government has improved every school in the country, lifted teacher standards, provided billions of dollars in funding for literacy and numeracy and low SES schools, and introduced the first ever national curriculum,” Nick Champion said.

“And this year we will finalise our National Plan for School Improvement, which deliver a fairer funding system, better teachers, more power for school principals and more information for parents.”

This year schools in South Australia will benefit from programs including:

$159.8 million under the Low SES National Partnership, and $35.2 million under the Improving Teacher Quality National Partnership. The new Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics, science and history will be taught in government primary schools by the end of 2013, 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 take part in the Empowering Local Schools initiative, giving school principals greater decision-making powers over things like staffing, budgets and school maintenance.

From 2013 teachers across the country will start taking part in annual appraisals and receive constructive feedback about their performance. $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. The updated My School website will be released early this year, providing greater transparency and accountability of school performance.

Nick Champion said the Federal Government’s funding has given local students access to a range of facilities and programs.

Media Release Nick Champion MP Federal Member for Wakefield

“It’s great to see 215 new Building the Education Revolution (BER) projects in our area, including 32 new or upgraded classrooms, 23 libraries, 28 multi-purpose halls and 13 science and/or language centres, worth more than $156,594,919,” Nick Champion said.

“Local students are also benefitting from more than 6,299 computers installed under the Digital Education Revolution.”

In addition, in the Wakefield area:

51 schools are receiving extra funding under the Smarter School’s National Partnerships which includes Low SES Schools National Partnership, providing more support and resources to help students improve their performance.

Our local students are learning valuable vocational and trade skills, thanks to Government funding for 5 new Trade Training Centre projects, benefitting 18 schools - a more than $17,804,211 investment.

“But the investment doesn’t end there. In 2013 the Gillard Government will deliver another $243 million into schools to help continue the work of the literacy and numeracy national partnerships. This will help pay for things like homework centres and dedicated literacy and numeracy coaches.

“Our commitment to education has made a real difference to around 259 000 students in 752 schools throughout South Australia.”

Nick Champion said the Government is aiming for the National Plan for School Improvement to be agreed by all states and territories at the first Council of Australian Governments meeting this year.

““This will help ensure that, by 2025, Australia is rated as a top five country in the world in reading, science and mathematics, and in providing a high-quality and high-equity education system.

“Our investment in schools is in stark contrast to Tony Abbott’s Coalition. They want to sack one in seven teachers, squeeze more kids into our classrooms and stick to a broken school funding system that will see schools have their funding slashed.”

For more information about the Gillard Government’s education reform agenda, visit

Media Contact: Mathew Werfel 8284 2422 - 0417 805 384