A strong public education system is key to investing in the next generation and building a fair, successful, and cohesive society.
Every Australian child deserves a quality education, regardless of their background and their post code. Not only does a good education open doors in adult life, it builds a more cohesive and clever society from which we all benefit.
Investment in a strong public education system is an investment in the next generation of South Australians and essential to building a fair, successful and cohesive society.
The Greens have a plan for a better way to educate our young people. Our education system should be inclusive and fair. From preschool to university and TAFE, the Greens will invest in quality education that is accessible to all. Funding will be directed to where it is needed most.
The Greens believe that:
- Education is principally a public good
- Differences in educational outcomes should not be the result of difference in wealth, income, power, possessions or location
- All people are entitled to free, well-funded and high quality, life-long public education and training
- The salaries and conditions of teachers, early childhood educators and other educators should be set at a level that recognises their professionalism, training and the importance of their work, provides secure career structures, and encouraged committed and capable people into the teaching profession at all levels of the education system
- Early childhood education is a critical component of lifelong learning and should be provided by government and accredited community organisations and not-for-profit providers
- A publicly owned and properly funded TAFE system plays an essential role in providing economic prosperity and a socially just society by offering lifelong educational opportunities and skills development to a broad range of our community
- Universities are places of learning and research where the needs of the whole community and the values of service to the public, scholarship and academic freedom should take priority over sectional and commercial interests
The Greens will:
- Ensure schools funding is provided on the basis of equity and need
- Support State implementation of the “Gonski” education funding reforms. This will deliver smaller class sizes and increased funding to public schools
- Ensure all schools receiving public funding are subject to the same level of accountability, transparency and non-discriminatory staff recruitment and student enrolment policies
- Ensure children with specific educational needs, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students from migrant and refugee backgrounds, and those with special needs are provided with the resources they need
- Reverse the corporatisation of TAFE and restore a strong public TAFE sector with full ministerial accountability and expanded capacity to provide high-quality training and skills development for our workforce
- Install a VET ombudsman to assist students and staff struggling with the current corporatized system to ensure students are receiving the education they were promised and that public funds are not being wasted or rorted by private training providers
- Ensure that arts, music, drama and physical activity have a strong place in the primary and secondary curriculum alongside numeracy, literacy and science
- Support improved access and participation in the learning of languages other than English across all levels of schooling and build the capacity of teachers to provide high-quality language education
- Modify NAPLAN testing to prevent unfair comparison between schools and shift focus to improving outcomes for students
- Support a transition of Year 7 from primary to secondary school and ensure that schools and teachers are well-prepared to provide access to facilities and specialist teaching and deliver the pastoral, peer, and learning support students need to move successfully between schools
- Ensure schools provide a healthy environment for learning, including nutritious canteen food and encouraging walking and cycling to school
- Protect smaller schools from closure and give communities more say over the creation of new, large, amalgamated schools
- Ensure that public education infrastructure and land remains in public ownership and control unless it is no longer needed for educational purposes due to changing demand, in which case the proceeds of its sale to be redirected into a fund for building new or upgrading existing public education infrastructure
- Ensure that public education infrastructure is adequately funded for capital works and maintenance to create an optimal learning environment whilst meeting the highest environmental sustainability standards
- Establish new or upgraded schools in population growth areas, located on the basis of proximity to residential areas and public transport infrastructure. Existing smaller schools will not be closed on the basis of narrow financial viability criteria
- Support smaller class sizes throughout the public education system to achieve manageable workloads for all educators and the best educational outcomes for all students. Maximum class sizes and teaching loads are to be based on evidence and set down in industrial agreements