THE full six years of Gonski funding, better parent engagement and extension of year 11 and 12 to all schools are just a few of the hot issues raised by education stakeholders in Tasmania in the lead up to Saturday's election.
Education reporter Rosita Gallasch asked seven key groups what do they hope the new government will tackle over the next four years.
Australian Education Union state branch, President Terry Polglase
- Commitment to the full Gonski funding including years five and six and to continue after that to fund schools following the Gonski Review recommended needs-based model.
- School support staff paid for 52 weeks per year.
- Competitive teacher salaries to attract and retain the best teachers - this means not allowing Tasmanian top teachers to fall behind the salary average of their colleagues in other states.
- Manageable teacher workloads - primary teachers to have the same instructional load as secondary teachers.
Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations, President Jenny Eddington
- A commitment to encourage greater parent engagement in education, as well as funding and resourcing for school associations through to TASSO, to attain adequate training.
- A commitment to seek the fifth and sixth years of Gonski funding.
- Greater disability funding to ensure all students are equally engaged in school - Gonski is paramount to this.
- Where to now with school viability - we want a clear statement of what is going to occur, particularly in regards to the home area and transport issues.
Tasmanian Principals Association, President David Raw
Funding still remains the main education issue for Tasmanian government school principals. Achieving the student resource standard will mean -
- Equitable funding can be applied to all schools so students with the greatest learning need receive the time and money that will make the difference.
- Money is available to fully implement a quality teacher frame work.
- We could depoliticise education so the community can ask all political parties to agree on a plan that schools then implement over 10 years.
Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby
Our wish is that there is a real commitment to improved support for students living with disability in Tasmanian schools by -
- Initiating an independent review if the Disability Education Support System in our schools.
- A commitment to increased teacher and assistant professional development to better understand the strengths of their students living with disability.
- Increased transparency in the allocation of funding to students living with disability.
Independent Schools Tasmania, Executive director Tony Crehan
- Funding to support special needs children in K level at non-government schools (this is not Commonwealth funded).
- Set up and fund a course development body directed by the TQA.
- Increased capital assistance for non-government schools.
- Amendment to Anti-Discrimination Act to give general exception to faith based schools re: enrolment of students not of their faith.
Tasmanian Catholic Education Office, Director Dr Trish Hindmarsh
- Is there a guarantee that Catholic Schools will receive a just proportion of the $83 million quarantined in the 2013 state budget to support the implementation of schools funding in 2014-2017?
- Will the next government undertake to increase state capital funding for the Catholic school system? At present the amount of state government funding for capital purposes for Catholic schools is inadequate to support the needs of our 37 schools and colleges.
University of Tasmania, Vice chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen
- Develop explicit policy that can maximise the social and economic benefits of higher education for Tasmanians.
- Establish an Education Research Institute, to provide advice on how to improve school participation and literacy levels to national standards.
- Expand the economic benefits of fee paying students to the North and North-West by advocating for investment in the Northern Health Initiative, delivering a workforce for the future returning $1.2 billion to the economy over 10 years.