Parents welcome election focus on schools

On the eve of school holidays, the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations says that pubic school parents are very pleased to see election candidates focusing on education.

“It’s great to see discussions about schools and the needs of families front and centre in policies and commitments announced by ACT’s major parties ahead of next month’s election,” says Kirsty McGovern-Hooley, President of the Council.

“We’re really pleased to see Labor, Liberal and Greens commit to more teacher-librarians – this will help lift literacy – as well as responding to the urgent need to address hazardous materials in our older schools,” she says.

“Labor’s school renewal package of $99 million is substantial. It’s a good start towards improving school infrastructure. The Greens’ commitment to upgrading school infrastructure to control temperature and keep smoke out is great – it echoes parent expectations.”

“It’s great that both major parties are committed to building new schools in new suburbs where they are obviously needed – really this should be a given – but we also need additional primary schools in some older areas where urban infill is increasing the population, such as the inner north and central Woden,” she says. “An additional college is needed in the north, not just the promised expansions of Dickson and Gungahlin college.”

“We note that Labor commit to examining options for central Woden, which is pleasing, but should have been included in the town centre renewal planning from the beginning.”

“Parents will also be pleased with the focus on wellbeing and supporting families. The announcement by Labor of 25 more social workers in the public system is really wonderful and much needed. The Liberals’ commitment to ‘Smiling Minds’ and ‘Mental First Aid’ programs is also terrific for our schools and kids,” Ms McGovern-Hooley says. “Council sees Labor’s promised whole-school approach to respectful relationships education as important in safeguarding our kids and fostering respect.”

“Labor’s school breakfast and lunch trial is an interesting offer with lots of potential to support kids and communities in really meaningful, connected ways if well implemented and practical. The details would be eagerly watched if this was to go ahead and school P&Cs would be keen to be involved.”

“We welcome the Liberals’ focus on languages teaching and Labor’s commitment to Aboriginal languages and cultures in our schools,” she says.

“Parents also welcome a re-look at school buses and some school P&Cs will be very relieved to have the choice to install CCTV to protect assets – both offered by the Liberal party.”

Released 25 September, 2020

Authorised by Terry Sanders for the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations.

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