Making Education Fairer

Review of School funding

Labor understands that rising cost of living pressures from school levies, uniforms and additional school fees for public education is placing many Tasmanian families under increasing unacceptable financial stress.

We will conduct a full review of the costs of participation in public education including fees, uniform costs, levies and transport.

Labor is committed to reducing the cost to families of government education.

Cost: $100,000

Social and Emotional Learning

Labor understands that all young people deserve support to manage their health and wellbeing, especially their mental health.

Labor is committed to introducing compulsory age appropriate social and emotional learning programs in schools, starting in primary schools.

Labor will work with educators to support them to deliver social and emotional learning programs and provide appropriate professional learning and resourcing required for their success.

Speak Up Stay ChatTY schools program

Labor will fund the Speak Up Stay ChatTY schools program for an additional 12 months.

Labor will work with stakeholders (services and educators) to develop guidelines to ensure that programs in schools are being delivered safely and in accordance with best clinical practice.

Cost: $280,000 funded in Labor’s Better Health Plan

Working It Out School Program and Outreach Worker to North West

Working It Out provides outreach work in schools and colleges through professional learning, support, parent information sessions and diversity groups. The current program only has funding until June 2019. Labor will continue to support WIO to deliver this program beyond 2019.

Working It Out is not funded to provide outreach to the North West. By funding an outreach worker in the NW, Labor will ensure that LGBTI people and their families in regional Tasmania are not disadvantaged.

Cost: $300,000 (DoE)

Free bus travel to your nearest school

Labor is making it easier for all students to be able to get to their nearest school.

We want to ensure that transport is not a barrier for students to get to their local school which is why we have committed to provide free transport for primary and secondary students in rural and urban areas.

Under a Labor Government all students attending their nearest public or school of their chosen faith will be provided with free public transport.

Labor has allocated $9 million for initial concession support.

Labor’s commitment to students with a disability

It is important that we provide additional support to students who need it in order to provide equitable learning to all students.

Labor is committed to ensuring that students with disability are not disadvantaged and have a positive engaging learning experience.

Implementing  the recommendations of the Disability Taskforce

Labor is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Disability Taskforce into education, however it is important that these recommendations are implemented properly with the guidance of experts.

That is why Labor will review the terms of reference for the Disability Taskforce to empower them to not just review policy changes in line with the report but require them to drive the educational priorities for students with a disability and produce an implementation work plan.

Ensuring funding is needs based

The current IQ based funding system for students with a disability is inadequate.

There is currently a gap in the funding needed to support students with a disability and schools are currently in the unacceptable position of having to choose between supporting their students with disability and delivering other school programs.

Labor also recognises that there are students who aren’t picked up by the current funding model and it is imperative that we understand the extent of the gap between how students are currently funded and where we need to be to make a difference in their learning journey.

That is why Labor will require a report on the transition to a needs based model, to be delivered to Parliament within our first year in government.

We want to understand if students who are not currently recognised as having a disability, but who likely need additional support, are missing out. The report will be required to recommend whether trauma be included in needs based disability funding model or whether standalone funding is more appropriate.

Cost: $100,000

Early Childhood Intervention Service

Tasmania’s Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) provides a critical service for families and children with disability when they are starting their learning journey.

Without ECIS many parents would be left to navigate services and their child starting school alone.

Labor knows that the NDIS funded service does not provide the same wrap around service that walks side by side with parents on what can be a confusing and difficult journey.

That is why Labor will continue to fund ECIS from 2020 to maintain this essential service to families of children with disability.

Labor will continue to work with the NDIS on the non-education component of ECIS to ensure the best outcomes for students and families are delivered.

Cost: $8.8 million – funded through a combination of new money and Labor’s Early Years Guarantee

 

Tasmania’s Education Partnership

Labor is committed to delivering a fairer education system which is why we need to ensure that the views of people with disability are taken into consideration when formulating policy that will impact on them.

Labor will ensure that there is a disability representative on the Tasmanian Education Partnership, joining education peak bodies, parent groups and representatives of industry and workforce groups, along with representatives of each political party and an independent member of the Upper House.

Ensuring best practice with through the Community Services Commissioner
With increasing services being delivered through the community sector, including disability, housing and child protection services, it is critical that the rights of people are protected.

In order to protect the most vulnerable in our community, Labor will establish an independent Community Services Commissioner with the powers to:

•       handle individual complaints and review the situation of an individual, or group of people.

•       monitor and review the delivery of community services and make recommendations to improve the delivery of services.

•       inquire into matters affecting services and people eligible to receive community services.

•       promote access to advocacy support and ensure adequate participation in decision-making for consumers.

Labor envisages that the Community Services Commissioner will have the powers to investigate matters which relate to education and disability service provision.