The ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations is pleased to see the emphasis on supporting teachers in the budget ($40M), which should help address the impact of staff shortages.
Funding for ‘Inclusion Coaches’ in priority schools is also very welcome.
“It’s great to see the ACT Government listening to parents,” says Council President, Alison Elliott. “This matches our request that $10 Million be invested in training and skills building for inclusion. We’ll be very interested to see the detail, but it sounds like an innovative and effective approach.”
“We also congratulate the Government on the sensible decision to support public school canteens to provide healthy food, with $418,000 over four years,” she says.
However, Council urges the Government to place higher priority on long-term investment in public school infrastructure.
“We’re pleased to see money for some school upgrades and planning for a college in Molonglo. But overall the spending is not forward thinking enough,” says Ms Elliott.
“In the case of Gungahlin schools, the spending is going into playing catch up, providing college and high school places that we’ve been requesting for years and which will now be desperately needed before the schools can be built.”
“We need to see spending that is more future focused,” she says. “We need a funded, on-going renewal plan for our older schools. The plan should cover renovating decades-old student toilets, renewing worn-out infrastructure and revitalising outdoor facilities. These are vital, but are not normally covered by school maintenance budgets.”