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Independent public schools don't help kids: Greens

Media Release
Penny Wright 3 Feb 2014

The Abbott Government's independent public schools plan announced today will do nothing to improve student outcomes, warns Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

"Christopher Pyne is proselytising a proven policy failure to distract from the mess he's made over the Gonski model," Senator Wright said.

Senator Wright said an evaluation of the WA model of independent public schools, on which the Abbott Government policy is based, found 'no evidence to indicate changes in enrolments or student achievement'.

"Christopher Pyne is doing everything he can to avoid the real issue in public schools - chronic underfunding," Senator Wright said.

"All the evidence shows the most effective thing the Australian Government can do to raise educational performance is to address the huge inequality between the most and least privileged kids by fixing the funding model.

"Encouraging community engagement in schools is a great thing, but making sure schools are properly funded must come first. What parents care about most is that their child gets the best education possible.

"If the Abbott Government was serious about helping all Australian students reach their potential - they'd look at the evidence and listen to the community and stop chasing red herrings like the curriculum and independent public schools."

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