Education is a cornerstone of society, and is vital for developing well-informed, tolerant, responsible and critical citizens who participate in community life. Education must be available to all Australians irrespective of socio-economic background or geographic location.
Our education systems need some re-imagining to meet the diverse needs of contemporary learners. But while innovation is required to deliver high quality service, listening to and working with teachers, educators and school support staff is integral to creating sustainable and sensible change.
The Australian Democrats will support legislation that:
- fulfils the right of every person in Australia, regardless of age, gender, ability, sexual preference or ethnicity, to an equal level of educational opportunity, through the provision of teaching and educational facilities which enable the full development of their potential;
- provides and maintains a well-resourced, free, inclusive public education system including robust tertiary opportunities;
- funds education in line with the Gonski recommendations;
- provides equal access to University that is based on an individual’s willingness to undertake such an education and not on capacity to pay;
- revitalises trade schools, traineeships and apprenticeships as alternative education pathways both within secondary school and beyond;
- focuses particularly on early childhood development to overcome disparities in readiness for learning;
- invests substantially in improving infrastructure in government schools to acceptable standards;