The Community Alliance Party supports a fully funded, high quality, free and accessible public school education system in the ACT, alongside the existing non-government school systems.
The Alliance recognises the critical value of schools to their communities as neighbourhood educational and social institutions. We believe that the neighbourhood model for schooling works best because it gives families greater opportunity to participate in their child's education. The Alliance will work with communities to better recognise the role of schools and teachers in society. The Alliance supports life-long learning for all ages.
Education policy statement: Vital schools, vibrant community hubs Media releases:
New York, New York! (06.10.08)
Targeted assistance for schools: A better use of the community's money (23.09.08)
Labor’s promise to help students well overdue (17.09.08)
Money Can’t Buy You Love (17.09.08)
Alliance launches 'Vital schools, Vibrant community hubs' (09.09.08)
Students are not just statistics (21.08.08)
Smaller class sizes not a panacea (24.07.08)
It’s a promise: we will re-open schools (22.07.08)
- The Alliance is opposed to the closing of any government school without local community support. We support re-opening all schools wrongfully closed since 2006: Hall, Tharwa, Cook, and Flynn schools should be re-opened immediately.
- One result of the school closures has been the loss of well-used and highly valued community space. The Alliance insists that school buildings and land remain in public ownership for use as a community facility.
- The Alliance believes schools in areas that have suffered local trauma should be given all necessary support.
- The Alliance will enhance cluster arrangements to encourage better sharing of resources (including specialist teachers) between local schools.
- The Alliance will not develop more ‘super schools’ (P-10 schools) without first working with communities to evaluate existing super schools. International experience reveals that there is no evidence bigger schools are cheaper or deliver better educational outcomes or offer a broader curriculum. This should be tested before further development.
- The Alliance supports improved access to educational resources for Homeschoolers and other measures to help raise their educational standards, where necessary.
- The Alliance supports school based curriculum development as being more responsive to student and community needs; but if a national curriculum is devised, we will work to build in the flexibility to allow for things that are important to the ACT to be included.
- The Alliance will seek to ensure access to age-appropriate health education in schools and colleges (addictions, eating disorders, STDs, stress management) that achieves significant behavioural change.
- The Alliance supports the inclusion of at least 30 minutes of physical activity in every child’s school day to have fun, exercise and develop basic sporting skills.
- The Alliance will promote public education programs to foster a genuine appreciation of Indigenous and minority cultures.
- The Alliance supports the teaching of languages other than English as a core component of the curriculum at all levels of education.
- The Alliance supports the provision of additional Government resources for the Ethnic Schools Association to help young people maintain connections with their cultural roots.
- The Alliance supports additional Government resources for programs that teach English as a second language so that migrants are not disadvantaged in Australian society. Sufficient funding should be provided to meet existing needs and an integrated family approach should be adopted.
- The Alliance supports environmental education, including the extension of the AuSSie to every school in the ACT.
- The Alliance supports arts education and will explore the development of an ‘artist-in-residence’ program at schools, to make arts education more exciting and rewarding for children.
- The Alliance recognises that students have individual learning and developmental needs and will seek to provide education services on that basis. This includes providing prompt, sensitive, and early detection and remedial assistance for children with learning difficulties and disabilities.
- The Alliance will address the achievement gap between low and high achieving schools, as well as investigate the achievement gap between low achieving and high achieving students in ACT government and non-government schools, so that all students can reach their full potential.
- The Alliance supports the introduction of a voluntary student feedback process at all levels to help teachers and students.
- The Alliance believes the number of counsellors must be increased so that they can be placed in all secondary schools and available to students whenever the school is open. Counsellors’ hours in primary schools will also be increased to allow more contact time with younger students in need of assistance.
- The Alliance will develop innovative measures that help prevent school-based delinquency.
- The Alliance will work with the teaching profession and the wider community to adequately reward teachers for their valuable contribution. We support salaries that reflect the professional status of a teaching career. The Alliance supports a single Union Collective Agreement in the next Enterprise Bargaining round. In government, the Alliance will at least match teacher salaries in NSW.
- The Alliance will strive to revive a sense of value in our teachers and protect them within their work environments.
- The Alliance believes that any teacher registration body needs to be independent, open and transparent, and accountable.
- The Alliance believes that good teachers should be recognised; those unsuited to teaching or needing help should be identified quickly.
- The Alliance believes that the ACT Government should work closely with local teacher training institutions to help ensure that sufficient teachers with the required skills are available to staff ACT schools and colleges.
- The Alliance will address the existing teacher shortage with structured career progression, including sabbaticals, professional development, support mechanisms, and improved physical infrastructure.
- The Alliance will seek to provide more resources for teachers and schools, including provision of additional administrative support, counsellors, a sufficient range of teaching assistants, and encouragement for participation by community volunteers (all police-checked!)
- The Alliance will review the School Based Management funding system with a view to reducing the burden on school-based staff.
- The Alliance is opposed to the frequent, compulsory transfer of teachers between schools every few years because of the disruption to schools and their communities. Teachers seeking a move and natural turnover will provide sufficient ‘new blood’ for schools.
- Teachers that are subject specialists should have the freedom to teach in their areas of expertise.
- The Alliance believes the Government should investigate teacher retention, including the introduction of exit interviews.
- The Alliance is committed to equipping young people with the skills required to function in a dynamic job market and suited to their individual skills and abilities.
- The Alliance supports increased investment in education and training, including vocational education and 'on-the-job' training, and a good apprenticeship structure to address the current skills shortages in the ACT.
- The Alliance supports improved training for local residents rather than relying on importing skilled workers to fill perceived gaps in the ACT labour market.
- The Alliance supports expanding apprentice sharing schemes in those trades which may be experiencing skill shortages.
- The Alliance supports increasing work experience for school students to cover rights, responsibilities, and workplace culture.
- The Alliance will protect the ACT TAFE system from privatisation. We support increased recurrent funding to TAFE. We do not support HECS in TAFE.
- The Alliance fully supports a single Union Collective Agreement for TAFE and school teachers, including career path reviews.