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Nelson not done his homework on year 12

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 05/049 MONDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2005 SENATOR LYN ALLISON AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS LEADER AND SCHOOLS SPOKESPERSON NELSON NOT DONE HIS HOMEWORK ON YEAR 12 PLAN The Australian Democrats said Education Minister Dr Nelson’s plan to introduce an Australian Year 12 certificate is simplistic and unlikely to succeed without the introduction of national curriculum standards. Senator Lyn Allison, Democrats Leader and schools spokesperson said the Federal Education Minister has flagged a poorly conceived idea without considering how it will be implemented or what impact the changes are likely to have. “The Minister has thrown this curveball without discussing it with the states,” Senator Allison said. “Surely the place to start is the curriculum and how a national scheme can improve the opportunities for all students to move to post secondary education? “The introduction of another school certificate would be divisive and would further complicate matters for students and parents. “Universities regularly accept applications from interstate students and are able to adequately deal with the variations between State's school certificates.” Senator Allison said the Minister should stop undermining government schools and start addressing the real educational issues such as increasing school funding to meet the National Goals of Schooling. “It doesn't matter how strict the school certificate testing is, if we don't provide our schools with the adequate resources a significant number of students will always be left struggling with grammar and spelling, along with a range of other subjects.” A recent MCEETYA report into Resourcing the National Goals Project found Australian government primary and secondary schools fell $2.4 billion short per annum of the funding required to meet the national goals. "The Democrats are not opposed to the Federal Education Minister raising issues of educational importance but if Dr Nelson is serious about addressing "educational inconsistencies" he should address the enormous inconsistencies in the Government's SES funding model and find real solutions for the problems within schools." Senator Allison concluded. Media contact Katrina McGrath 0408 056 167