In an open letter to Territorians, Minister for Education Bill Shorten has written to express his disappointment in the Chief Minister’s decision not to sign up to the Better Schools Plan.
The letter also corrects Mr Giles inaccurate and misleading claims that some NT schools world be worse off.
The Better Schools Plan delivers increased funding for every school by at least 3 per cent every year.
In addition, under the Better Schools Plan, Northern Territory schools were set to share in an extra $375 million.
That means, on average, around $1.6 million more per school across the Territory.
Territorians can see how much their local government school could receive under the Better Schools needs-based funding model here.
For instance, under the Better Schools model Darwin High School could receive $3,699,239 additional funding over six years.
This investment could go towards:
- literacy and numeracy specialists to work one-on-one with students who need extra help
- learning and support staff such as educational psychologists, speech pathologists or social workers
- classroom modifications and new assistive technology for students with disability
- class sets of textbooks to lift the financial burden from parents
- more high quality vocational education and training opportunities for students.
The Better Schools Plan is about delivering the tools and resources we know lead to better student learning outcomes; including more one-on-one attention based on the individual needs of each child.
The letter makes it clear that the Better Schools Plan is not a Federal take-over of NT schools.
The Chief Minister’s decision not to sign up to the Better Schools Plan, together with the Territory Government’s $250 million cuts to education spending announced in the last Budget, make it clear that the LNP does not value school education.
The Minister has urged Territorians to speak up if they too believe Mr Giles got it wrong when he decided on their behalf to reject an extra $375 million for Territory children.
The Australian Labor Government believes there is nothing more important than investing in the education of all Australian children, including those in the Northern Territory.