2 December 2015 - Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said that the latest Department of Education Annual Report shows some worrying trends in remote education.
According to Departmental annual reports:
“The CLP’s teacher cuts to education are negatively impacting on results education in the bush and are also impacting on indigenous employment.
“The number of assistant indigenous teachers has been reduced by 40, the number of indigenous classroom teachers has been reduced by 9 and 12 Indigenous trainee teacher positions have also gone,” Ms Manison said.
“Reducing teachers and reducing indigenous staff in schools is now showing. The CLP’s lack of a strategy and investment in Early Childhood Development is showing up in the very real decline in children attending Government subsidised pre-school.
“There is no amount of spin that can hide these results by the Education Minister,” Ms Manison said.
NAPLAN RESULTS 2012 – 2015
PERFORMANCE MEASURE - STUDENTS ACHIEVING NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARD IN NAPLAN
WRITING – INDIGENOUS
NUMERACY - INDIGENOUS
*Note: 2012, 2013, 2014 results sourced from Annual Reports. 2015 – NAPLAN website
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, said the last day of school is bittersweet for many Territory Schools, with CLP education cuts biting too deep, causing staff cuts.
“Territory school communities should be celebrating the end of year and looking forward to taking a well-earned break, but instead they are losing classroom teachers, ESL and special education support," Ms Lawrie said.
“Every public school in my electorate of Karama is losing staff that are needed to support a quality education for our children. These cuts are hurting primary, middle and senior schools.
Ms Lawrie said the CLP Government's failure to pass on funding of 3 per cent to cover the teachers' EBAs had compounded the school budget woes.
“The CLP Government’s failure to properly fund teachers’ pay increases as per the new EBA is also adding extra strain to the already stretched school budgets,” Ms Lawrie said.
Ms Lawrie said the Education Minister, Peter Chandler, had failed to stand up for Territory students and the sooner he was replaced the better.
“Hopefully Territory students will get an early Christmas present in an announcement of a new Education Minister in the CLP’s upcoming cabinet reshuffle,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Territory students deserve a new Education Minister who will fight for Territory student’s right to a well-resourced education system in the Territory - Not scrooge-like cuts we’ve seen under Peter Chandler.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, said the Chief Minister Adam Giles and the Education Minister Peter Chandler need stop denying there are massive shortfalls due to the CLP Governments Global School Budgets.
“There are now around 30 schools saying they have serious budget problems under Global School Budgets,” Ms Manison said.
“The fact is schools are having to make big cuts for a third year in a row because of Global School Budgets, but the Education Minister keeps denying there is a problem.
“Adam Giles told ABC Radio this morning that the Minister for Education will go through schools, to determine the effect of the Global School Budgets.
“Will the Government listen to COGSO and do an urgent review of the impact of Global School Budgets on every school?
“If they do, they will be faced with the reality that the Global School Budgets are forcing schools to cut teachers, subjects and support for students.
“The Education Minister promised no school would be worse off and he has broken his promise.
“Even the Department of Education advises some schools will receive less funding.
“The CLP have failed to fully fund the teachers EBA and this will force many schools into the red or to make cuts to afford the pay rises.
“The Education Minister Peter Chandler needs to take urgent action to address his disastrous rollout of his Global School Budgets policy.
“Territory students deserve an education system that is well resourced. Education should be a priority for the CLP Government.”
Shadow Minister for Education, Nicole Manison, today said the Casuarina Senior College (CSC) School Council last night rejected the CLP Government’s Global School Budget which would cut staff and subject choices for students.
“The CSC parents are appalled that for the third year in a row the CLP are cutting resources to a school that is keen to deliver teaching excellence to our children,” Ms Manison said.
"Despite promises that no school would be worse off, Global School Budget allocations are forcing schools to have to make more cuts.
“Global School Budgets are cuts by stealth to the Territory’s education system.
“To deliver the Global School Budget, CSC would have to cut 5.8 teachers and their home liaison officer and still be $672,000 in the red.
“With these cuts students would see reduced subject selections.
"I hope the Minister for Education Peter Chandler meets with the School Council urgently as they have requested.
“The Leader of the Opposition Delia Lawrie is a CSC School Council parent and shares their concerns about the cuts.”
Ms Manison said students across the Territory deserve well-resourced schools, instead they are facing a third straight year of cuts under the CLP Government.
“Peter Chandler promised no school would be worse off under Global School Budgets. The fact is schools are worse off and he needs to take action to stop the cuts and honour his promise.”
Shadow Minister for Education, Natasha Fyles, said the CLP Government’s independent school model is a flawed model that will see a two tiered education system – and has already been rejected by the ACT, SA and Tasmanian Governments.
“This system is not supported by teachers across the Territory because it does not deliver better student outcomes,” Ms Fyles said.
“This system allows the government to further cut education funding and burden school principals with finding corporate sponsors to instead fund public schools.
“Parents want public schools run by the Education Department, not commercially focused boards.
“They want school principals focused on discipline and student outcomes not running commercial boards and chasing private sponsorship.
“Schools Principals tell me they already have a great level of autonomy and see this as commercialisation of public schools, when the Government should be funding public education.
“Our education system already provides options for parents to have significant involvement in their student’s education through school councils, but this measure is shifting the burden of school administration and funding onto parents.
“This is a distraction from the disastrous $125 million in CLP cuts already made to the Territory’s education system and the $312 million to be cut from Territory education, over 10 years, announced by Tony Abbott.
“The CLP has cut 185 teachers and support staff from our classrooms, resource cuts teachers have been fighting for two years.
“International research has found creating competition between schools does not produce better student results. (OECD PISA Report, 2009)
“The CLP has failed to stand up for Territorians and fight Canberra’s $312m education cuts to keep the Better Schools Gonski education reforms.”
Shadow Minister for Education, Natasha Fyles, today said the CLP Government’s global school budget model will be damaging to the Territory’s Education system.
“The CLP Government has already cut 185 teachers and support staff out of Territory schools,” Ms Fyles said.
“$125 million has been cut from Education since the CLP has been in Government.
“Their Federal Liberal Government counterparts are also ripping $312.3 million of education funding out of the Territory over the next 10 years.
“Now at the Territory schools lowest resourcing, the CLP plan to add further strain onto our schools with a cynical cost-shifting move.
Ms Fyles said the Global School Budgets model is the CLP Government shifting budget pressure onto schools.
“Parents and staff at Territory schools should be left to focus on educational outcomes not paying bills and settling accounts,” Ms Fyles said.
Ms Fyles was joined by the Labor Candidate for Casuarina, Lauren Moss, who said that cuts to education by the CLP Government were of great concern to the residents of Casuarina.
“Casuarina residents have been telling me that they are worried about the affect the cuts of 12 teaching and support staff from the Casuarina electorate alone will have on students,” Ms Moss said.
“Labor invested in education as a priority and we will restore funding slashed by the CLP.”
Opposition Shadow Minister for Education, Natasha Fyles, has slammed the latest CLP Government move to swamp our schools in budget pressures.
“Education and education budgets are the responsibility of Government,” Ms Fyles said.
“Parents sign up to join school councils to support their children’s education and academic outcomes, not manage a business.
“This cynical cost-shifting exercise by Education Minister, Peter Chandler, comes off the back of a $15 million cut to Education that schools are already struggling to grapple with. With fewer teachers and support staff schools are now being asked to carry the burden of the physical infrastructure – from repairs and maintenance to the myriad of minor new works that impact on a school’s operations.
“School council members have numerous questions about these global budgets and also what this change will mean for school councils.
“In other jurisdictions where these changes have occurred schools have been forced to employ less experienced teachers whose wages put less of a demand on their already stretched budget rather than a more experienced senior level teacher.
“Will education outcomes for students in the Territory be adversely affected when Territory schools are forced to make similar decisions?”
Ms Fyles said the CLP Government is ignoring the concerns of school councils and educators across the Territory by ramming through Global School Budgets for the 2015 school year.
“The Minister is ramming through this change through when next year’s schools budget allocation has been repeatedly delayed,” Ms Fyles said.
“Territorians need improved resources in Education and instead the CLP Government is pushing the responsibility onto Principals and parent school councils to manage in an already unbearable environment.
“This will push schools grappling with aging infrastructure to breaking point and give Principals less time to focus on quality teaching and learning and bury them in an administrative quagmire.
“How will this help our students? Where is the evidence that this is better for our schools?”
Ms Fyles asked whether schools would receive additional resources under the Global Schools Budget to meet CPI pressures.
“The accepted budget growth pressure in Education is five per cent, is this additional funding going to be factored in? What happens with significant infrastructure failure requiring repairs and maintenance?
“The CLP need to stop pursuing cost cutting at the expense of our children.”