Students First - Pyne, Smith and Wilson visit Mount Lockyer Primary

Joint Media Release
  • Minister for Education
  • Leader of the House
  • Senator for Western Australia
  • Member for O'Connor

Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Senator Dean Smith and Mr Rick Wilson MP, Member for O’Connor, visited Mount Lockyer Primary School in Albany today to see first hand the progress made in implementing Independent Public Schools in Western Australia.

In fulfilling a previous promise to revisit the region, having visited as a shadow Minister last year, Mr Pyne also visited the Ocean Road Primary School in Mandurah and later spoke at the Great Southern Education Forum with Senator Dean Smith and Member for O’Connor, Mr Rick Wilson.

“It was exciting to see two fine primary schools in operation. I met with school leaders, teachers, staff, parents and students to hear about issues of concern and discuss how we could help,” Mr Pyne said.

“Mount Lockyer Primary School has been operating as an Independent Public School since 2011. I understand an independent review has commended the school on the exemplary progress being made in improving student academic achievement and its success in improving non-academic achievement, such as behaviour and attendance.

“These results highlight why the Australian Government has introduced our own $70 million Independent Public Schools initiative.

“Nationally, we want to help schools work with parents and their communities to make local decisions and respond to issues that affect the learning outcomes of their students.

“We have set a goal of encouraging up to 1500 existing public schools to become Independent Public Schools by 2017.”

Senator Smith said the new Government’s education policies were already making a difference for the people of Western Australia.

“Mr Pyne has reaffirmed that Commonwealth recurrent funding for schools has been assured for the period 2014 to 2017, and the Government will be working cooperatively with the states and territories and the non-government sector to deliver sensible and stable funding for the years after that,” Senator Smith said.

Mr Wilson encouraged the local community to maintain the dialogue and discussion about education policy, and said he would be happy to pass on any further enquiries or comments from the community to Minister Pyne.

“School education is vitally important to the people of O’Connor and Western Australia, and we are keen to keep listening as we roll out fresh, practical approaches that improve education outcomes by putting students first,” Mr Wilson said.

Under the Australian Government’s Students First approach, the Australian Government will work with the states and territories in 2014 by focussing on four key areas that will make a difference to students:

  • teacher quality
  • principal autonomy
  • parental engagement
  • strengthening the curriculum

For further information, visit: www.studentsfirst.gov.au.

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