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Education is a right, not a privilege. Public education is in the Greens’ DNA and it will always be a fundamental commitment of the Greens NSW. That’s why we believe in universal, high quality free public education from early childhood right through to school, university and TAFE, and adequate support for the educators that serve our communities.
The Greens have a plan for the NSW election and beyond that ensures our public schools are fully funded, rebuilds TAFE, supports teachers and gives every student a public education that inspires them to be their best.
100 per cent committed to public school funding
Our public schools must be fully funded. No matter where a child attends school they deserve the same high quality of education as every other student. That’s why the Greens are committed to meeting the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) for every public school recommended by the Gonski Review.
We will fully fund all public schools to 100 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard by 2020 by lifting the percentage of state funding for public schools from 71 per cent to 75 per cent, while working with our Federal colleagues to renegotiate the National Agreement to increase the Commonwealth funding level from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
The Greens are the only party that is willing to tell the truth on education, that public money belongs to public schools, not elite and exclusive private schools. This is why the Greens will halt the unfair funding of private schools with public funds, starting with reducing state funding to private schools from 24.5 per cent to 20 per cent of the Schooling Resource Standard by 2020.
While we do this we will ensure any state government funding of private schools is allocated on an equity and needs basis and is not allocated to private schools that discriminate against students or teachers for any reason. We retain our long-term commitment to see all of the $1.3 billion of state money currently given to private schools redirected to the public school system.
Ending scripture classes and returning teaching time
School curriculums must be evidence-based and free from religious interference. The Greens know how crowded the teaching week is. We know there is no place for preaching in public schools. This is why we will abolish Special Religious Education and return the lost learning time to the curriculum, with increased teacher numbers to support this.
100 per cent committed to TAFE
TAFE is a pathway to engagement, employment and empowerment and it’s crucial to our society. This is why the Greens will always vote for 100 per cent of all state vocational education funding to go to TAFE and we will end the contestability madness that is driving low quality private vocational training. We will also remove barriers to access to TAFE by abolishing all fees and charges on TAFE courses up to Cert 3.
The Greens know that without long-term additional support, TAFE students and educators will continue to suffer. That’s why we are committed to supporting the establishment of a Class Size Committee to determine binding maximum class sizes, an increase in permanent teaching and non-teaching TAFE staff levels, improved class support and time allocation for TAFE teachers, and the improved in-service education and development of TAFE teachers. We commit to billion dollar spends on teachers and teaching quality not failed IT systems.
We will also support TAFE with increased funding of $50 million per annum, $200 million over four years, to provide driver education and P-plate licencing with a focus on Aboriginal young people and disadvantaged communities.
Public educators in prisons lifting people up
The Greens will end privatisation of prison education in NSW jails and return all funding to qualified public sector teachers. Prison education is a critical pathway to break the cycle of reoffending and it is essential it is delivered by highly skilled and permanent public educators.
We will expand the school teaching year in all juvenile detention centres to 50 weeks a year. Currently, schooling in juvenile centres ceases for the majority of school holidays leaving young people in detention without access to education with negative consequences on both education outcomes and facility management. Teaching can and should be provided to young people in detention on a year-round basis.
The Greens support for teachers
The Greens support the abolition of performance-based pay to teachers and reject the NSW government’s 2.5 per cent wage cap for public sector workers. We will continue to back the right of teachers to strike, to collectively bargain, to withhold labour, and to organise.
We also know that when it comes to education, teachers know best. This is why we will continue to work with the Teachers Federation and consult with teachers in the development and implementation of all our education policies.
— David Shoebridge, MP and lead Greens NSW candidate
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