15 minutes is all it needs

Michael de Wall

A teacher, parent and principal from the Lindsay electorate want just 15 minutes to explain to MP Fiona Scott the impact of the Abbott Government’s cuts to Gonski funding on teaching and learning in classrooms across Penrith and St Marys.

Nepean Teachers Association President Sarah Willett believes Fiona Scott should at least have the courage to publicly own Mr Abbott’s cuts to education.

Shortly after the Budget, Ms Willett received news that Ms Scott rejected a request from the Australian Education Union for her to meet with a delegation consisting of a teacher, parent and principal from the Lindsay electorate in Canberra in June.

In response, the Nepean Teachers Association urgently sought to meet with Ms Scott on Public Education Day. At the time of writing, a staff member from the electoral office was endeavouring to find an available meeting time in Ms Scott’s schedule.

“Now that we have seen the full extent of Budget cuts to health and education, I can see why Fiona Scott is reluctant to meet with our delegation,” Ms Willett said.

Ms Willett recently wrote to local state Coalition MPs, congratulating them on their commitment to the full implementation of the Gonski schools funding reform and seeking their assistance.

She said that while the office of Penrith MP Stuart Ayres indicated, “Mr Ayres is happy to do a representation letter on your behalf,” Ms Willett said that all state level politicians who claim to support needs based funding and a minimum resource standard for all schools must make a robust public commitment to pursuing the matter with local members of the Federal Government.

Angelo Gavrielatos explained to teachers the full extent of the education cuts at Cranebrook High School.

On the eve of Public Education Day, Australian Education Union (AEU) Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos visited Cranebrook High School to speak with local teachers who are frustrated by the failure of Lindsay MP Fiona Scott to advocate for the full implementation of the Gonski schools funding reform.

Cranebrook High School is one of three schools in the electorate that will lose more than $2 million under measures announced in the recent Federal Budget. Another 11 schools will have more than $1 million each cut from their projected growth in funding.

Mr Gavrielatos told teachers that the Budget would entrench disadvantage in Penrith by delivering a real cut of more than $38 million in funding to local public schools.