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National curriculum a baby step.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria Australian Democrats spokesperson for Education & Training

Dated: 31 January 2008 Portfolio: Education & Training


A national schools curriculum for kindergarten to year 12 in all states may be useful but it is a baby step for a new government with a mandate for educational reform, according to the Australian Democrats.

“Setting national education standards appears dynamic and wont cost much. But it is not the biggest problem schools face, not by a long shot. How does it help children struggling with literacy and numeracy?” Senator Allison said.

“This is no substitute for real action. The Democrats want real progress on education. That means identifying the children at risk of falling behind for special attention - as early as possible - resourcing schools properly, and paying teachers decent salaries.

“It also does nothing to change the profound educational disadvantage of Aboriginal Australians. Indeed, a more prescriptive one-size-fits-all curriculum might be less relevant for indigenous students.

The Democrats today urged Labor to include teachers on the panel, saying the exercise will fail if it takes advice exclusively from bureaucrats and academics.

“Providing a quality education for every child is a key national priority. Every citizen in Australia expects the next generation to be better equipped than the last.

“We owe this to our children,” Senator Allison concluded.

Printed: 4 February 2008

Authorised by: Heather Jeffcoat, 711 South Road, Black Forest, SA 5035.

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