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Christopher Pyne’s divide and conquer plan for public schools revealed

Media Release
Penny Wright 27 Feb 2014

The Abbott Government's independent public schools system will create a hodgepodge of different schooling systems all around the country, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright said today.

Questions asked by Senator Wright in estimates hearings last night revealed each state and territory will be able to decide their own application criteria for independent public schools and develop their own levels of autonomy.

"Leaving it up to each state and territory to design their own system for independent public schools will create a mish-mash of different systems across the country," Senator Wright said

"The Australian Greens know this is a divide-and-conquer strategy from Mr Pyne, who has no respect for the public system.

"The independent public schools scheme is just the first stage of his attack on government schooling and the equality of opportunity it can and must provide."

Senator Wright said Estimates questioning also revealed a distinct lack of planning, with states and territories only now sitting down with the Federal Government to work out how the $70 million package will work.

"Christopher Pyne has launched his independent public schools scheme with no evidence to show it will improve student outcomes and no plan on how he'll hit his own target of 1500 schools.

"Mr Pyne's independent public schools model already been slapped down by his counterparts in Tasmania and New South Wales. It's time for Christopher Pyne to burst the thought-bubble and replace it with evidence-based policy."

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