Free meals for students and more social workers under Labor

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ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr

A RE-ELECTED ACT Labor government will trial serving students free breakfast and lunch, three days a week, at five public schools, and will hire 25 youth and social workers for public schools. 

“We want all children, no matter their background or circumstances, to have the best possible access to learning,” says ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr.

“That’s why ACT Labor will trial free breakfast and lunch three days a week for students at five public schools, prioritising schools that will benefit most.

“It is no surprise that the evidence shows that kids learn better on a full stomach, and this commitment will build on the great community run breakfast clubs already providing meals in some schools.”

The trial is expected to cost around $700,000. The 25 youth and social workers will be rolled out over the whole term, and will cost more than $7.4 million.

“These new youth workers will assist students with planning for their individual needs, goals and strategies while at school,” Labor’s spokesperson for Education Yvette Berry says.

“Social workers will complement this by working with a student and their family to provide support, advocacy and mediation aimed at improving student engagement.”

For disability inclusion, ACT Labor will also work with people with disabilities to create a future of education where students with disabilities are included in a way that suits them and their families. Labor says this will include feasibility work on renewal of Canberra’s north side specialist schools.

Labor says it will also implement a gender equality in schools initiative to provide a whole-school approach to respectful relationships education and prevent domestic and family violence by creative a culture of gender equality in schools, continue the Safe and Inclusive Schools Initiative that supports gender and sexual diversity in schools and provide funding to work towards embedding local Aboriginal language and culture into the public school system.

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