LABOR BUILDS FOR NSW FUTURE SCHOOLS

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley today used the budget reply speech to outline Labor’s seven point plan for the future of education.

The plan will build the new and upgraded schools needed for a growing state, promote language studies, improve preschool affordability and access and stop the Liberal-National assault on the TAFE system.

Labor’s plan includes:

1. An immediate audit of all government land to identify priority sites for building new schools;
2. Empowering the Greater Sydney Commission to drive an unprecedented schools building program by giving them power to take suitable land from other departments and agencies for new and expanded schools;
3. Every new school built must provide childcare or before and after school care facilities on site;
4. Every primary school student in NSW to be taught a second language;
5. Every child in NSW to have access to at least 15 hours of affordable preschool education per week in the year before school;
6. A guaranteed minimum of 70 per cent of all funding for Vocational Education and Training (VET) to be provided to TAFE; and
7. A Private Providers Investigation Unit to crack down on shonky operators in the VET sector.

Under the Liberal-National Government more than $3 billion of government property will have been sold off by 2018.

The state needs 225,000 new school places by 2031- with the majority needed in Sydney.

Based on current spending by the Baird Government on new schools, it will take 45 years to meet the Department of Education’s own forecast of new school places.

Labor also commits to establishing a Private Providers Investigation Unit to crack down shonky operators in the VET sector as well as guaranteeing a minimum of 70 per cent of all funding for VET be reserved for TAFE.

Urgent action is needed to stop the Liberal-National assault on TAFE after the budget revealed a staggering 126,000 fewer students were enrolled this year than in 2012. The budget also confirmed 5,200 teachers and support staff had been axed from TAFE since 2012.

Today’s new education announcements build on Labor policies detailed earlier this year that every primary school student in NSW be taught a second language, and every child in NSW to have access to at least 15 hours of affordable preschool education per week in the year before school.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“A Labor Government will drive an unprecedented schools building program.

“Under the Baird Government it will take 45 years to deliver the new schools that are required within the next 15 years.

“At the rate New South Wales is delivering new classrooms it will take until 2061 to deliver the school places we must provide by 2031.

“The single largest expense when it comes to building new schools is the cost of purchasing land.
“Turning unused and under-used government land in areas of great demand for additional school places into sites for new and expanded schools just makes sense.

“We would give the Greater Sydney Commission the power to force other government departments and agencies to hand over landholdings that have been identified as suitable locations for new and expanded schools.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Jihad Dib

“This government is spending more on new prison beds than new classrooms.

“This government’s addiction to selling off our public assets has seen prime sites for school expansions and new schools flogged off.

“Labor’s seven-point plan for education will build the new and upgraded schools needed for a growing state, promote language studies and improve preschool affordability and access.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Skills Prue Car

“Urgent action is needed to stop Mike Baird’s assault on TAFE.

“The Government sees TAFE as a cost centre – not as a centre for learning.

“Labor’s policy will crack down on shonky private providers and guarantee at least 70 per cent of public funding for vocational education and training for TAFE.”