The Greens NSW believe:

1. Education is a human right of children and people at all stages of life.
2. Governments have a responsibility to provide high-quality, comprehensive public education for all people living in Australia.
3. Resources within public education should be allocated to achieve equity in educational opportunity and outcome, and to support equity across all other social indicators.
4. Public education should be funded so that it is free for students and so that every learner receives the highest quality education, including at school, in early childhood education, at TAFE and university, and as lifelong learners.
5. All children and young people have the right to a safe learning environment.
6. Children at school should not go hungry.
7. Public schools, TAFE colleges and universities should be free from partisan political interference, and from the need to compete in the marketplace for funding and/or resources.
8. No public funding should be provided to non-government schools or colleges where the potential to do the following is apparent: 
     8.1 Disadvantage the public school system;
     8.2 Exacerbate socioeconomic inequality;
     8.3 Contribute to any form of segregation;
     8.4 Disadvantage students with disabilities;
     8.5 Permit any discriminatory behaviour;
     8.6 Contribute to the profits of any corporation or other organisation; or
     8.7 Compromise the viability of any public school.
9. All schools that receive public funding should be public, secular, comprehensive, and inclusive.
10. The public education system should be secular
11. Curriculum should be determined:
     11.1 Without political, sectarian, religious and economic interference; and
     11.2 Using an evidence-based approach informed by professional educators and in consultation with their industrial representatives and the community.
12. Vocational education and training (VET) is much more than just a series of competencies. The educational values of TAFE must be protected.
13. Universities need to be well resourced in order to provide high-quality education research and community services.
14. A publicly funded TAFE system should be the dominant provider of vocational and further education and training, and should not be subject to contestable funding.
15. Resources and structures within public education should recognise the unique educational needs and abilities of First Nations students and redress the impacts of two centuries of discrimination, systemic and institutionalised racism and abuse.
16. Comprehensive public education should be funded through a national needs-based model that enables the public school system to be diverse, inclusive, responsive and flexible enough to cater for all students’ educational needs.


School funding

The Greens NSW will:

17. Implement and maintain funding to at least 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard (plus needs-based loadings) for all public schools.
18. Ensure that implementation of the Schooling Resources Standard in public schools results in:
     18.1 The abolition of fees, charges and 'voluntary contributions' in public education.
     18.2 An increase in the number of school counsellors, specialist teachers for students with learning difficulties, specialist EAL/D teachers, First Nations          education support staff, and resources for the inclusion of students with disability.
19. Ensure class sizes are reduced to a maximum of 20 students for years K-2, to 25 students for years 3-12, and to 20 students in practical learning formats. The staffing formula should be applied separately to K-2 and 3-12, and class sizes should be protected as a learning entitlement of students, as well as part of teachers’ working conditions.
20. Ensure teaching assistants and reduced class sizes are provided to all classrooms, to be inclusive of all students’ needs.
21. Ensure public school buildings and grounds are cleaned and maintained to the highest standards, with secure ongoing employment and salary justice for school maintenance and cleaning staff.
22. Ensure sustainable climate control technologies are installed where classrooms are exposed to temperature extremes. All unflued gas heaters should be removed and replaced immediately with high-efficiency, low-emissions technologies.
23. Hold successive NSW governments accountable for reaching and maintaining at least 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard in public schools and, for any identified shortfall, to target additional teachers and resources for public schools serving socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
24. Ensure English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) teachers are available to all students in public education.
25. Require the Department of Education to develop, implement and maintain a teacher workforce strategy to redress and prevent teacher shortages across all school settings and contexts, which addresses workforce factors in the short, medium and long term.
26. Direct additional resources to the early years of high school to facilitate the transition from primary school.
27. Ensure new teachers are mentored by experienced teachers with additional release time for both.
28. Ensure any vehicle conveyance subsidy scheme is restricted to travel to the nearest public school with exceptions for travel to another public school where enrolment of a student at the closest public school is not viable.
29. Abolish all state government funding of non-government schools. Public funds that are given to these schools under current arrangements should be committed instead to equity programs within the public school system.
30. As long as state government funding of non-government schools continues:
     30.1 Abolish all public funding of the wealthiest private schools, and reallocate the funds to equity schemes within the public system;
     30.2 Require that private schools and non-government school systems are subject to the same level of public accountability and scrutiny as public schools, as a condition of ongoing public funding;
     30.3 Abolish non-government school funding mechanisms that unfairly act to the detriment of public education;
     30.4 Withhold public funding from schools that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religious background, caste, sexual preference, marital status, gender identity or expression, disability, or ability to pay fees.
31. Refuse to allocate public funding to schools that engage in discrimination in employment practices, and remove all exemptions for private schools from anti-discrimination legislation.
32. Ensure only public schools are allocated funding for capital works.
33. Abolish the present land tax exemptions for non-government educational institutions.
34. Oppose educational vouchers that would inevitably damage public education.
35. Reject:
     35.1 Commercial sponsorship in public schools;
     35.2 Privatisation and competitive tendering policies in public education; and
     35.3 Devolutionary policies and practicies within the Department of Education that would shift blame for insufficient resources from the government to individual schools.

Protection from political interference

The Greens NSW:

36. Oppose the use of threats to withhold federal funding to achieve political outcomes such as curriculum changes, and the formulation and publication of league tables.
37. Oppose education policies based on ideologies of commodification, marketisation and consumer ‘choice’ because these result in destructive competition between schools and TAFE colleges, divide communities, increase inequality, and distort educational outcomes.

Curriculum and testing

The Greens NSW will work to:

38. Support the development of curricula that are based on sound educational principles by educational experts with appropriate community and teacher involvement with industrial representation.
39. Oppose the use of student test results in any way that allows the production of league tables. Test results, such as NAPLAN, should be used only to assess and promote benefits to student learning.
40. Maintain a curriculum that is evidence-based and that is free from interference from religious and sectarian influences.
41. Ensure that changes to the curriculum are implemented only if they are accompanied by adequate funding, resources, training and realistic timeframes.
42. Ensure that any revised curriculum is of the same standard or better than the current NSW curriculum.
43. Ensure that national curriculum development does not jeopardise schools’ ability to adapt teaching according to student and community needs.

Public ownership and control of public education

The Greens NSW will work to:

44. Oppose privately financed public school development and call on the NSW government to fully fund all new public schools.
45. Restore public ownership and operation of the resources of public education.
46. Oppose the creation of independent public schools in NSW as they will undermine the benefits of a system of public education.
47. Oppose the sale of public education land unless an equivalent or better site has been secured to serve the same community.
48. Public school and TAFE sites that are not currently required to meet the demand for education in their area should be held in a land bank against subsequent population increases. Sites within the land bank should be used on a lease basis for other public purposes.

Equity programs

The Greens NSW will work to:

49. Ensure the provision of appropriate English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) teaching services. In particular, the restoration of student-teacher ratios to 1987 levels or better.
50. Increase the provision of specialist teachers and appropriate facilities and resources for students with disabilities so they can reach their full potential.
51. Ensure that schools with students who have complex needs related to disability are funded to address all of their needs.
52. Ensure students attending schools for special purposes, including students at behaviour intervention schools, have access to the same educational opportunities as other students.
53. Ensure that refugee and asylum seeker children have access to free public education
54. Support students with diverse sex, sexuality and gender identities with structural support and additional resources by:
     54.1 Recognise the existence of diverse sex, sexuality and gender identities;
     54.2 Address the structural disadvantages these students face in all educational settings;
     54.3 Include the teaching of sexual health for diverse forms of sexual interaction in the school curriculum.
55. Provide public schools with the infrastructure, additional staffing, and financial and logistical capacity to provide to all children free, healthy, fresh, local and sustainable breakfasts and lunches.

First Nations education

The Greens NSW will work to:

56. Implement fully funded, long-term programs that ensure that First Nations students achieve educational outcomes equal to other students within 10 years, build their self-esteem, and affirm and empower First Nations identity and relationship with the land.
57. Support First Nations communities to build the capacity to identify and address these communities’ needs.

Early Childhood Education

The Greens NSW will work to:

58. Make the highest quality early childhood education available to all.
59. Ensure that government support for early childhood education prioritises affordability, quality and equity of access.
60. Provide two years of free public preschool for all children, prioritising First Nations children and children with special needs, and children with disadvantaged backgrounds.


The Greens NSW will:

61. Support the abolition of all fees and charges to learners, with a priority on TAFE Access and Equity courses, Adult Basic Education, HSC courses, the Tertiary Preparation Certificate, and courses for First Nations students and refugees.
62. Ensure that 100% of public VET funding goes to TAFE.
63. Commit to the restoration of the Adult Migrant English Service (AMES) as a publicly funded, quality provider of adult migrant English education.
64. Reject the increasing casualisation of the TAFE teaching workforce and restore high levels of permanency so that at least 80% of teachers are permanent, and the ratio of teachers to managerial staff is not eroded.
65. Support the funding of TAFE at levels adequate to meet the demand for vocational education and training, second chance and lifelong education, and education for youth at risk without compromising course quality or duration and without exploiting teachers. To this end, the Greens NSW will campaign for:
     65.1 The restoration of TAFE per-student hour funding to its 1997/98 levels (in real terms);
     65.2 The restoration of teaching and non-teaching TAFE staff levels to those of 1997/98, with more positions where there is a need;
     65.3 Recognition by governments of the excessive workloads of teachers and head teachers with action to improve working conditions and reduce individual workloads;
     65.4 The establishment of a class size committee, with Australian Education Union representation, to determine legally binding maximum class sizes;
     65.5 Restoration of teacher academic qualification requirements, and removal of the Tutor-Instructor and Assessor grades, with transition paths to full professional qualifications for people employed on those grades;
     65.6 Restoration of well-staffed professional TAFE units responsible for vocational and educational curriculum standards and other Central Support Units;
     65.7 Protection of the quality of TAFE teaching by ensuring that:
          65.7.1 All part-time/casual and temporary teachers are provided with suitable teacher education opportunities of at least Certificate 4 level, free of course fees;
          65.7.2 All permanent and long-term temporary teachers receive free teacher education at degree level or higher with compensatory paid teaching release;
          65.7.3 Recognition of Prior Learning applies to all upgrading of teaching qualifications for all permanent and Part Time Casual teachers.
     65.8 The provision of improved access to literacy, numeracy, special education and disability support;
     65.9 Improved resources, class support and time allocation for TAFE teachers to prepare for and provide quality workplace educational training and assessment;
     65.10 Ensure that fee-free professional development with paid leave is available to all teachers including Part Time Casual teachers, including additional support for teachers in non-college workplaces;
     65.11 The development of incentives to attract and maintain staff in difficult-to-staff TAFE colleges;
     65.12 Adequate support for vocational education with the expectation that the resources available to those courses, the class sizes and the safety standards, must conform to the best practices in both schools and TAFE colleges;
     62.13 The restoration of all actual course delivery hours to the nominal hours specified in the curriculum;
     65.14 The restoration and maintenance of full support services at the college level, including specialty consultants for students with disabilities for all students who need it, and Multicultural and Outreach services.

The Greens NSW are committed to:

66. Ending the public funding of private education providers except where TAFE/AMES cannot meet demand and cannot do so with additional resources.
67. Tighter registration and accountability standards for private colleges, schools, and other private vocational education and training providers, as well as the restoration of controls on any expansion of private colleges and private schools, and on the accreditation of their employees.
68. The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) being properly funded to enable it to place more emphasis on the quality of course delivery to students, rather than an excessive compliance ‘box-ticking’ focus.
69. Greater clerical assistance for TAFE teaching staff during audit periods.
70. Bringing an end to privatisation and competitive tendering policies for TAFE, and ensuring that no public funding is used to subsidise the work of for-profit training providers.
71. Ensuring that:
     71.1 The Australian Education Union, and other unions as appropriate, are represented on the board of the Australian Skills Quality Authority, TAFE Boards and governing bodies, and all other bodies which have oversight of VET and TAFE;
     71.2 There are consultative committees operational in all TAFE institutes or similar bodies, with proportionate union representation;
     71.3 There are adequate provisions to enable the formation and operation of student unions and student representative councils at TAFE.
72. Rejecting the creation of other publicly funded institutions that undermine TAFE and public schools.
73. Opposing the Smart and Skilled program in NSW and the 2012 COAG determination on VET funding which led to its impositions.
74. Supporting the delivery of face-to-face classroom learning and practical skill-building on TAFE campuses.


The Greens NSW will work to:

75. Provide full public funding of university education without the need for corporate sponsorship to make it free and accessible to all.
76. Overhaul university governance and reporting requirements to ensure transparency, with mandatory staff and student involvement in decision-making.
77. Require that appointed positions on university governing councils are subject to criteria that promote learning outcomes rather than profits.
78 Acquire private student housing to deliver public, not-for-profit or cooperative housing options.
79. Ensure that university colleges are safe, meet the housing needs of all students, and are owned and managed within a public, transparent and accountable structure.
80. Stop the sell-off of university-owned student housing and land.
81. Remove any planning benefits or concessions for privately owned student housing.
82. Ensure transparent and specific reporting on staff numbers, wages and employment status.
83. Reject casualisation and restore secure and just ongoing employment for research and teaching staff in all NSW universities.
84. Create caps on executive salaries and ensure that top-tier salary increases are indexed to wage growth in the bottom tier of the employment structure.
85. Keep universities independent from political interference, including amending the NSW universities legislation to enshrine the right to free inquiry, critical analysis and independent scholarship.
86. Defend the rights of staff and students to be democratically represented on university governing bodies by enshrining the rights to hold elections for a meaningful number of staff and student positions.
87. Defend the right of students to form and democratically elect representative bodies that are financially and administratively independent from university management and subject to control by the broader student community.
88. Restore compulsory student unionism on all university campuses in NSW.

Teacher professionalism

The Greens NSW:

89. Recognise educators for their professionalism and support giving them a professional level of remuneration.
90. Support granting permanent and long-term temporary TAFE teachers compensatory paid teaching release and free course entry to complete an appropriate degree or higher level teacher education qualification, and support assisting part-time casual TAFE teachers without course costs to complete a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment or appropriate higher teacher education qualification.
91. Oppose performance pay in any sector of education in NSW.
92. Support the continuance of university-provided initial teacher education (ITE) prior to entry to the profession, and reject the introduction of short-term training to place non-teachers into teaching positions.
93. Recognise that practicum teaching placements are work, and should be remunerated as such.

The Greens NSW also support:

94. Increasing the salaries and status of teachers to restore them to at least 150% of average weekly earnings.
95. Enhancing respect for teachers and affirming their professional judgement and skills in the delivery of the curriculum.
96. A state-wide transfer system that ensures all schools across the state are able to be staffed with suitably qualified teachers, with an equivalent system in TAFE. This would include compassionate, incentive and nominated transfers, and promotions positions.
97. Increased funding for continuous professional development for teachers at all levels of public education.
98. Teacher training scholarships to address teacher shortages.
99. Defending the rights of teachers in public education to be represented by their teacher union organisation in collective bargaining and in consultations over industrial and educational matters and disputes.
100. Opposing wage caps for public sector workers, unbinding the NSW Industrial Relations Commission from government policy and restoring it as the independent umpire for industrial matters.
101. Improving the process of teacher promotions such that the Department of Education can establish a promotions ‘pool’ of teachers who are identified as suitable for promotion, and make appointments as needed by drawing from the promotions ‘pool’.

Secular public education

The Greens NSW will work to:

102. Oppose the placement of chaplains in NSW public schools, and insist that the federal government redirect any funding of chaplains to public schools for the employment of qualified youth, family and community workers, and to increase the number of school counsellors.
103. Tighten the NSW government's policy for external providers of instruction and curriculum materials in public schools to exclude any materials that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, caste, disability, sexuality, gender or contain imputed religious or judgemental messages that contradict the mission of public education.
104. Oppose and end the provision of public funds and facilities that promote religious doctrine.
105. Abolish the teaching of Special Religious Education (SRE) in public schools. Until this goal is reached, ensure that SRE is only made available on an explicitly opt-in basis, and that the teaching of ethics is offered as the default alternative to SRE for all students, without barriers to the delivery of ethics classes, including the withholding of information about their existence.
106. Support the continued teaching of General Religious Education in NSW public schools.

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