Alliance calls for class action

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 14 Maret 2013 | 19.55

CLASS sizes are creeping up and a lack of school psychologists is hurting children, says Tasmania's Public Education Alliance.

A report on the alliance's vision for public education was handed to Premier Lara Giddings outside Parliament House today.

The groups said implementing the national Gonski recommendations -- of which Tasmania would be a major beneficiary -- was vital.

State School Parents and Friends spokeswoman Jenny Eddington said class sizes were rising significantly and a cap on numbers was needed.

"With recent cutbacks … are class sizes are creeping up. For example, a teacher was telling us that her class has gone up from 24 to the low 30s. That's a significant amount of children to be added to a class," she said.

The alliance named six priorities:

  • Implement the Gonski recommendations, a national model that would fund each school according to the needs of its students;
  • Improve outcomes for vulnerable students;
  • Reintroduce funding to cap primary school class sizes;
  • Fund more school psychologists;
  • Build school and community partnerships; and
  • Reintroduce indexation to school budgets.

Education Minister Nick McKim said while everyone wanted classes to be as small as possible, class size was not the primary driver of educational outcomes.

He said every student had access to a school psychologist.

The alliance is made up of the Tasmanian Council of Social Service, the Tasmanian State School Parents and Friends, the Association for Children with Disability Tasmania, and the Australian Psychological Society.

Other member organisations include the Local Government Association of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation for Education, and the Australian Education Union.

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