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Howard Government failing boys at school.

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Media Release Media Release Media Release Media Release Jenny MacklinMP Jenny MacklinMP Jenny MacklinMP Jenny MacklinMP

Monday, October 21, 2002


Much more needs to be done to improve the performance of boys at school, particularly those from areas of disadvantage, deputy Labor leader Jenny Macklin said today.

The report, Boys: Getting it Right, by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training, found boys were falling behind girls in marks, literacy, staying at school and getting into university.

Ms Macklin said while many boys performed well at school a significant number struggled for a variety of reasons, and much more should be done to assist them.

The report cited research showing cultural background, the level of education of parents, the quality of teaching and school resources all affected the ability to achieve at school.

Ms Macklin said quality teaching was one of the many measures that should be taken to help those boys lagging behind their female classmates to catch up.

“It is not a simple matter of boys versus girls. Some boys perform as well as girls, others don’t. We must do more to make sure all boys have the same chance to perform well.

“Good teaching is essential to good learning, and this report has found that boys in particular benefit from a strong relationship with their teacher,” she said.

Ms Macklin said issues of teacher education and the quality of teaching were addressed in almost half of the report’s 24 recommendations, highlighting the need for far greater effort by the Howard Government in these areas.

“The Commonwealth has major responsibilities for teacher education and professional development, but the Howard Government’s policies are undermining efforts to improve both,” she said.

Ms Macklin said teacher training places in Australia were insufficient to meet demand, due in part to more than $3 billion cut from university funding by the Howard Government.

“Universities across the country are being forced to turn away thousands of qualified young people who want to become teachers because a shortage of places. Last year 7787 aspiring teachers found the door to teacher training closed in their face.”

More information: Adrian Rollins, 0438 950 375

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science

Federal Member for Ja gajaga