CHIEF Minister Andrew Barr’s Budget commitments to provide 15 more school psychologists, new schools and additional places in Gungahlin schools are misleading and too late, says shadow Minister for Education Elizabeth Lee.
Ms Lee says the ACT government committed 20 new school psychologists in 2015 after the Shaddock ‘Schools for All’ report identified a lack of school psychologists were a high priority.
“In the three years since the original promise, the government has only delivered five new psychologists. At this rate, it will take nine more years for the government to deliver 15 more psychologists,” she says.
“Many of our children will have well and truly graduated by the time this promise is fulfilled.
“The government’s promise for a school in Molonglo will not materialise until after 2021 and the additional spaces in Gungahlin schools comes off the back of years of poor planning.
“The government failed to consider how a rapidly growing population, new dwellings and suburbs impact school enrolment.
In addition, Ms Lee says the government has cherry picked some NAPLAN data to include in this budget while failing to disclose other data.
“This inconsistency and lack of transparency is not fair for schools, parents or students, and is just more evidence that the government is doing whatever it can to bury its failures when it comes to academic outcomes,” she says.