Saturday, 25 October 2014

ALP Policy Launch

I attended the ALP election launch today in Geelong. It ran late as these things tend to do but there were many education specific promises made ( in fact it seemed to be all about education)
They promised $510 million to rebuild schools and to make them safe ( references to some recent troubling episodes with asbestos in schools)
Kevin Andrews also promised a $320 million rescue fund for our critically injured TAFE program ( many references to how Gough started TAFE) He promised not only to restore it but make it better. He offered $50 million to upgrade kindergartens across the state.
Labor will reintroduce technical schools ( $125 million to build 10 facilities across the state) 
These schools will also enable kids to participate in traditional secondary school at the same time. There will be a strong partnership with industry, universities and TAFE
Andrews admitted that schools were doing their best and teachers and support staff were trying hard but schools and vulnerable children attending school needed more government support. He promised  $13 million to help State Schools Relief to provided more uniforms to vulnerable children  and an additional $15 for eye tests and free glasses.He also promised $13 million to feed hungry kids at school.The biggest surprise was a $150 million fund to support schools to ensure all children have access to camps, excursion and sport.He said these initiatives would start on day one and he has committed to ensure that every child gets every chance.  

Kevin Andrews was funny and touching and his speech was short and to the point ( a good speech) Bill Shorten spoke well but I like my politicians with a bit of mongrel in them. He'd do well to look at some old Keating and Whitlam speeches. All 4 ex premiers were there; Brumby, Bracks ( Joan Kirner looked frail) and John Cain looked as fit as a fiddle.


Campbell's Creek fights to keep its secular welfare officer

Parents at Campbells Creek Primary School, near Castlemaine, have gathered 1,600 signatures in support of their student welfare officer Prue Robertson.

Ms Robertson has held the position for almost two years, assisting the school's 150 students, as well as providing support for the teachers and giving parents advice.

"I love this work, I love this job and everyday when I leave the school I feel like I've made a difference to the kids who attend this school," Ms Robertson said. By the end of the school term, funding for her position will disappear, after the Federal Government changed its policy on school welfare officers

Clare Baker, a parent at Campbells Creek Primary School, said the students, staff and parents all appreciated Ms Robertson and her knowledge of the region.

"We've made this progress and, for some change in policy, why should we have to find somebody else with the same skill set? And I'm not sure we will be able to find that," Ms Baker said.

"We're in regional Victoria. We don't have an enormously large number of people applying for the job."

Read more on the ABC online site:

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