Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has welcomed the support of Labor and the Greens for a notice of motion which asked the Senate to note the importance of high quality teaching to student outcomes.
Senator McKenzie said the motion acknowledged that all Australian students deserved quality teachers and teaching to ensure the highest standard of education.
The motion highlighted recent PISA results which indicate a downward trend in Australia’s student performance in mathematics reading and scientific literacy.
‘‘The most successful education systems across the globe have a consistent approach to education policy that has a practical focus on learning, and develops a strong culture of teacher education, research, collaboration, mentoring, feedback and continued professional development,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘A high quality education is critical to ensuring the Australian economy is equipped with the skills and knowledge to adapt to the challenges of this century.’’
Senator McKenzie said that contrary to the disingenuous comments by Greens Senator Penny Wright, the Abbott Truss Government was committed to implementing a school funding model that is national, fair and needs based.
‘‘Labor left school funding in a complete mess,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘The hurried agreements signed in the dying days of the Labor Government meant some States secured funding, others only reached a heads of agreement, whilst others missed out completely.’’
‘‘We have already delivered what Labor failed to–a national agreement on school funding that ensures parents, principals and students, regardless of where they live, have needs-based funding over the next four years.’’
Senator McKenzie said while funding was important in ensuring quality education and improved student outcomes, it was not a panacea.
‘‘This Government understands that it is a combination of teacher quality, parental and community engagement and school autonomy and a strong, practical curriculum.’’
‘‘We look forward to the continued support of Labor and the Greens as we progress our education agenda.’'
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini 0400530027