The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch welcomes Daniel Andrews’ $850 million commitment to build new schools and preschools to meet growing demand in Victoria.
“We will see 90,000 students enter Victoria’s schools in the next four years and we must be prepared,” said Meredith Peace, president of the Australian Education Union Victorian Branch.
“This funding commitment would see 24 new schools funded and built in the next term of government with a further 55 schools on foot for the following four years. It is a welcome investment in our public education system.
“Labor will also co-locate preschools with public primary schools, which will make for an easier transition between preschool and primary school for children and families. The AEU has long advocated for the co-location of preschools and schools which will ensure that preschool and primary school teachers and support staff are best placed to work together to support student learning and welfare.
“We have not seen any commitment to new school funding from Matthew Guy. Last time the Liberals were in government they failed to plan for long-term growth, resulting in not one new school being opened in the state in 2016.
“Matthew Guy is all talk when it comes to planning to cater for Victoria’s growth. Without a comprehensive plan for new schools, the Liberal party will cram extra students into existing classrooms, driving up class sizes, and overcrowding our existing schools. It is now time for him to come out and at least match Labor’s commitment.
“Teachers, principals and support staff expect state governments to make sure we have enough schools, enough facilities and enough classrooms to cater for our growing population and provide the learning spaces for our students.
“Parents want schools resourced to meet their child’s individual learning needs. Parents and communities deserve local public schools with safe and modern learning environments.
“Beyond planning for new schools and staff to cater for the growing number of students we also need a state government to invest in at least 1600 additional teachers every year for the next 10 years so that every student gets more of the individual attention that they need,” said Ms Peace.
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