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Donnelly should get the boot over corporal punishment comments

Penny Wright 16 Jul 2014

The Australian Greens have reiterated calls for Kevin Donnelly to be sacked from Minister Pyne's curriculum review panel in light of his comments on corporal punishment.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright said Mr Donnelly's endorsement of corporal punishment was unacceptable.

"The Australian Greens have always said Mr Donnelly's radical views made him a completely inappropriate person for such a prominent review," Senator Wright said.

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Gonski vote splits National Party

Penny Wright 14 Jul 2014

A widening split in the National Party over the Gonski school funding reforms has been highlighted by an Australian Greens motion in the Senate today.

Federal Nationals MPs opposed a motion supporting the New South Wales Nationals Annual General Conference vote in favour of the full six years of Gonski funding.

The motion, moved by Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright, came as Federal Nationals Senators mocked the Gonski reforms in a Senate Committee report.

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Greens motion in support of Gonski funding for rural schools

Penny Wright 10 Jul 2014

I move that the Senate:

1.       notes the motion passed by the NSW Nationals Annual General Conference calling on the Federal Government to honour the six year Gonski funding agreement between the Commonwealth and the NSW government;

2.       acknowledges rural schools will continue to be significantly disadvantaged as a result of the Abbott Government's decision to fund only the first four years of this agreement; and

3.       supports the NSW Nationals' courage in standing up to the Federal Government in the interest of their communities.

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Inquiry slams Abbott over broken Gonski promises

Penny Wright 9 Jul 2014

Tony Abbott's broken promises on the Gonski school funding agreements will disadvantage every Australian student, a Senate Inquiry has found.

Australian Greens spokesperson on schools and deputy chair of the Senate Select Committee into Schools Funding Senator Penny Wright said the committee recommended the Government re-introduce the fifth and sixth years of funding to address inequality across Australian schools.

"Despite all of Tony Abbott's election promises, every school is going to be worse off," Senator Wright said.

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Pyne picks wrong approach to fix remote schools

The Abbott Government's huge cuts to education and indigenous programs and will hold back students in remote schools despite Education Minister Christopher Pyne's Direct Instruction plan, say the Australian Greens.

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright said the Coalition's abandonment of the Gonski funding model would see remote schools miss out on millions of dollars that would have helped attract and retain specialist literacy teachers.

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Put mental health support in schools

I move that the Senate

1.       notes

a.       the findings of the Youth Mental Health Report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute, which states 60 per cent of young people with a mental illness are not comfortable seeking information, advice or support from community agencies, online counselling or telephone hotlines

b.      the judgement of the High Court in Williams and The Commonwealth (no. 2), which found the Commonwealth's National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program to be unconstitutional

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Chaplains oversight gone as invalidated program continues

Penny Wright 23 Jun 2014

The Abbott Government's response to the High Court decision will see chaplains and welfare workers remain in schools without any Federal Government oversight, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said the Commonwealth Government's explanation that chaplains and welfare workers would now be overseen by State governments was inadequate.

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