ACT Election: Parents grade politicians on schools

As the ACT election nears, the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations (Council) has released an Education Report Card grading candidates on their school policies. 

“Parents have identified important issues for our schools and we have compared these to the policies and promises of the major parties,” said Council Vice President Vivienne Pearce. “We are pleased that the major parties have focused on the needs of our schools and created some strong policies for the next four years.”

“We hope voters will be guided by education issues on election day and that our report card helps them decide who will best position the ACT for the future by taking care of public schools,” she said.

The report card is available at  Parties were graded on:

  • policies to support every student by pressing the Federal Government for full Gonksi funding, ensuring the recommendations of the Review into Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behavior are fully implemented, funding a program to attract specialist teachers and funding liaison officers for schools with many migrant families
  • commitment to prioritising student safety by addressing the traffic chaos around schools and funding a trial of crossing supervisors
  • commitment to boosting volunteer numbers in schools
  • funding to improve school buildings and IT resources
  • a plan for stronger, more coordinated leadership and greater consultation on matters affecting schools.

“All three major parties have responded to parent concerns about school traffic with very good plans and policies for making school zones safer, which we are very pleased to see.” said Ms Pearce. “We have also been able to award top grades for plans to improve our ageing school buildings.” 

“In other areas the grades are more mixed. For example, some parties have committed to providing more school counselling services and specialist teachers, while others have failed to announce initiatives in these areas.”

Issued October 12, 2016.