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AEU launches vision for public education in Victoria

Sep 10, 2015Media Releases

The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch today launched a blueprint for the rollout of needs-based funding in public schools in Victoria, as part of the next phase of the Put Education 1st campaign. 

President of the AEU Victorian Branch Meredith Peace said the policy, Education for Everyone’s Needs, sets out a five point action plan for the Andrews Government to deliver on its commitment to make Victoria the Education State. 

“An Education State is one in which every child has access to a high-quality education, regardless of their ability to pay,” Ms Peace said.

“There is great optimism about the future but, as it stands, Victorian students are still being left behind as schools struggle to deliver the programs and support they need,” Ms Peace said.

“Each child has diverse needs and all children deserve to thrive, but we need a clear commitment from state and federal governments to rolling out needs-based funding to those who need it most.” 

The five areas identified for immediate action in the blueprint are:

  • A curriculum that meets the needs of all students;
  • More individualised support for all students;
  • Professional development for all school staff;
  • Building and maintaining classrooms and facilities; and
  • Reducing class sizes.

“Our public schools need a curriculum to meet individual needs, paired with individualised support for students, in classrooms with no more than 20 students. 

“Our teachers, principals and support staff must have access to on-going, high quality professional development to support the varying needs of students, in well maintained classrooms equipped with the best technology.” 

The first phase of Put Education 1st gave parents a forum to tell politicians our kids deserve better. Ms Peace said after four years of cuts to public education from the previous Napthine Government, the community’s voice was heard loud and clear, but it was now time to deliver on promises.

“Victorian education is at a crossroads and it is time for the Andrews Government to move forward and address funding issues to meet the individual needs of our students. Victorian public school students are still the lowest funded students in the nation and this gap needs to close.

“After consultation with parents and teachers, our policy, Education for Everyone’s Needs gives the Andrews Government a pathway to ensure every Victorian child has access to a quality education.

Education for Everyone’s Needs also highlights the damaging impact of the Abbott Government walking away from needs-based funding and refusing to deliver the final two years of the six-year Gonski agreement.

“Tony Abbott must make good on his $1 billion broken promise to Victorian public school students and school communities or risk the same fate as Denis Napthine,” said Ms Peace.

Media Contact: Elisa Fernandes, 0414 873 625