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Labor's transparency talk must be backed by action.



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THE HON TONY SMITH MP S H A D O W M I N I S T E R F O R E D U C A T I O N , A P P R E N T I C E S H I P S & T R A I N I N G F E D E R A L M E M B E R F O R C A S E Y

M E D I A R E L E A S E

TSE040/08 Monday, 11 August 2008

LABOR’S TRANSPARENCY TALK MUST BE BACKED BY ACTION

Julia Gillard’s new conversion to ‘openness’ and ‘transparency’ in publishing school results and performance cannot be trusted until she matches her rhetoric with some action, the Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training, Tony Smith, said today.

Mr Smith said Julia Gillard had already wobbled on her commitment to openness in school results with her delay in providing parents and schools with the results of this year’s national literacy and numeracy tests until the end of the year.

“The Coalition believes strongly in parents having information about their child and the performance of their child’s school because it helps improve performance and choice,” Mr Smith said.

“The former Coalition Government continually pushed for greater transparency and access to information, but was opposed at every step by the unions and state governments.

“Already Julia Gillard has failed the first test in refusing to release the individual results of the national literacy and numeracy tests until the end of this year.

“The whole reason the Coalition Government introduced these tests was to provide parents and schools with information in a timely fashion so parents could get help straight away.”

Mr Smith said these results were then backed up with action, with students who didn’t meet the literacy and numeracy benchmarks provided with $700 tutorial vouchers.

“But it’s these same vouchers that Julia Gillard axed in this year’s Budget, meaning those students who are identified as needing extra help, won’t have access to any,” Mr Smith said.

“You can have all the statistics on students and schools you want, but if it isn’t actually backed up with any action to improve results then not a lot will be achieved.”

Media Contact: Rhiannon Keen, ph: 0438 316 505