- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Baird-Grants's Infrastructure plan pushes discredited school privatisation models

Rally to protect TAFE
The NSW Liberal-National government's $20 billion pre-election cash-splash contains a number of nasty surprises for public education, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('New school designs, more private involvement in education, says Baird', Sydney Morning Herald, 26 November, page 5, http://j.mp/smh141126)

Dr Kaye said: "This is a plan that privatises public education, overcrowds schools and condemns TAFE to becoming an on-line provider.

"While better coordination of education planning is essential, the
Baird-Grant government is signing off on a scheme where the only school in
a new development might be private or Catholic.

"Many parents living in greenfield sites could be denied access to a local
public school.

"The plan ignores the realities of public sector teaching and the pressure
that ever declining resources and space places on educational

"Using assets more intensively sounds good but will inevitably mean that
teachers are under more stress, with more moving between classrooms,
sharing already inadequate resources and less time and space to look after
individual students.

"The only upside is the long overdue recognition that new developments must
have schools before they are completed.

"For sixteen years the previous Labor government allowed development
approval to go ahead without any reference to education planning.

"The Coalition's answer to Labor's failure to set aside adequate space to
cater for inner-city population growth is high rise schools. It appears
that Infrastructure NSW has missed the entire obesity epidemic.

"Infrastructure NSW has joined the Baird government's war on TAFE. Pushing
the public sector training provider to yet more on-line instruction is just
another blow to quality educational outcomes for working Australians.

"This is the beginning of the end for TAFE in NSW. When the inevitable
decline in enrolments occurs, buildings will be sold or leased out to
private providers.

"TAFE in Queensland was stripped of all its buildings and now has to bid
against private providers to teach in what were once its own facilities.

"The additional $1 billion in new school development and regional renewal
is of course welcome. However paying for it out of a one-off power sale
will mean that when NSW faces the same problems in 10 years' time,
something else valuable will have to be sacrificed.

"Schools are being held hostage to gain public approval for a power
sell-off that will only provide a temporary solution to the capital growth
needs of public education.

"Infrastructure NSW and the Heath Minister Skinner continue to beat the
private sector drum, largely to escape the state's responsibility to
develop new hospitals.

"This is about creating excuses when there are not enough hospital beds,"
Dr Kaye said.

26 November 2014

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