Julie Ritchie, a mother with three children at primary school and vice president of her local school’s P&C, explains how much Labor’s plan for better schools means for her kids and the future of Australian education.
My three kids are lucky enough to go to a good state primary school where they’ve been looked after well. But as a parent, I’ve always believed that luck shouldn’t be a factor in whether my kids are given every opportunity to achieve to their potential.
I’ve been involved with our school’s P&C for the last 6 years, and I know that some kids don’t get the education they deserve. I’m a big believer in our education system and its potential, but the unfortunate fact is that some kids go to schools that are less resourced than others.
When the Prime Minister announced on Sunday that she was putting forward a plan to properly resource all our classrooms, teachers and kids, I took a deep breath and got that feeling you get deep down when you know something is 100 per cent the right thing to do. I thought about what it might mean for my kids, and then I thought about what it would mean for all those kids out there who have been left behind
I’m told that, in scale, what Labor has announced is the biggest reform to schools funding in 40 years. For the first time ever there will be a resource standard set per student across Australia. This means that schools will be funded to a benchmark standard and in a fair way, so no child or school will get left behind.
In practice, it means Labor wants to invest around $1.5 million for every school, or $4000 extra for every student in Australia. For our school that will mean we could employ two specialist literacy and numeracy coaches to support the kids and the teachers in developing plans to lift standards so we don’t fall behind our international neighbours.
As a parent, this plan excites me. Fixing up education is as important as anything a government ever does. The sky is the limit for our kids; sometimes I can hardly believe what they are capable of when you put them in front of a computer. But every kid should have a bright future and access to top quality education and facilities.
I am grateful that Labor has put forward a plan to do this. But as monumental as this plan is, it relies on the support of our state and territory governments.
I hope you agree that on this particular issue, surely the state and territory leaders would put our kids first. But we need to ask them just that.
Can you join me in signing this petition calling on your state or territory leader to put our kids first?
My kids Dominic, Gabrielle and Sebastian before school on Monday.