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$30b to be cut from schools, but even Government doesn’t know how

Penny Wright 5 Jun 2014

The Abbott Government cannot say where almost $30 billion in budget cuts to schools will be found, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said estimates questioning late last night revealed the Government had picked a random number with no thought to the consequences.

"The best Treasury could do was say the cuts to schools would be 'something less than $30 billion'," Senator Wright said.

"When even Treasury doesn't know the real numbers - you know there's no plan behind this policy.

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Greens urge Coalition to rethink Gonski cuts

Penny Wright 22 May 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright has urged the Coalition to reverse their cruel cuts to Australian schools as businessman David Gonski speaks out.

"If there was ever a time for Tony Abbott to do one last backflip on education - now is it," Senator Penny Wright said.

"This is Australia's future on the line. There can be no age of opportunity while we leave hundreds of thousands of children behind.

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Cruel Coalition rips up Gonski, takes kids’ futures with it

Penny Wright 14 May 2014

Tony Abbott's decision to dump the Gonski school funding reforms will disadvantage every one of Australia's 3.6 million students, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

"The Coalition has abandoned every child, every parent, every teacher and every school, but none more so than those in greatest need," Senator Wright said.

"Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne have turned their backs on equality - wilfully and ruthlessly entrenching privilege in education.

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Move NAPLAN tests to start of the year: Greens

Penny Wright 11 May 2014

NAPLAN tests should be moved to the start of the year to limit "cramming" sessions and relieve pressure on students, says Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright also urged the Government to remove school ranking and comparative functions from the MySchool website, in line with the findings of her Senate inquiry report.

"Moving NAPLAN tests to the beginning of the year would be less disruptive to students and reduce the temptation for excessive coaching sessions," Senator Wright said.

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Pyne must release Curriculum Review draft report: Greens

Penny Wright 8 Apr 2014

Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright today urged the Abbott Government to release its Curriculum Review draft report, more than a week since it was delivered to Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

"The Abbott Government is intent on pushing its conservative political agenda into the classroom, overturning the work of several years and thousands of submissions which went into the development of the Curriculum," Senator Wright said.

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Senate inquiry calls for NAPLAN overhaul

Penny Wright 27 Mar 2014

A Senate Inquiry into the NAPLAN tests initiated by Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools has today recommended substantial changes to the tests and the MySchool website.

"The committee heard a huge amount of evidence that the MySchool site has introduced a competitive element which is damaging student and teacher wellbeing and resulting in a whole lot of ‘teaching to the test'," Senator Wright said.

"As a committee we came to the view it's time the ranking and comparative functions for individual schools on the MySchool site were removed.

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Motion: Youth resilience and wellbeing

I move that the Senate:

1.       notes the 2014 Resilient Youth Australia survey's findings, that 34 per cent of girls and 28 per cent of boys in years 7 to 12 feel constantly under strain and unable to overcome difficulties;

2.       affirms that every school student in Australia should be able to access the tools to develop emotional resilience; and

3.       calls on the Commonwealth government to:

a.       facilitate nationwide monitoring of adolescents' emotional resilience and wellbeing; and

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