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Courtney can’t ignore the issues in our schools

Education Minister Sarah Courtney’s announcement of additional psychologists, social workers and speech and language pathologists in Child and Family Centres is welcome but does not go far enough.

Shadow Minister for Education and Early Years Josh Willie said it was great that the Liberal Party recognises the value of Child and Family Centres.

“Child and Family Centres were a strong initiative of past Labor Governments and they are making a difference in our communities,” Mr Willie said.

“The Liberals had to be dragged kicking and screaming to commit to building more of these essential centres and the announcement by Sarah Courtney in line with the Liberal Party election commitment is welcome. Early intervention, empowering children and families and building capacity for a great school experience is of the upmost importance.

“The Labor Party supports todays initiative but thinks the government needs to do more.”

Mr Willie said it is not good enough that there are only 80 social workers, 70 school psychologists and 50 speech pathologists for 62,000 enrolments in our schools.

“While at the same time young people are facing increased mental health challenges, too many kids are falling through the gaps and not getting the support they need to engage with learning. Teachers are burning out because they’re not being given the help by government to meet the demand.

“Minister Courtney cannot ignore the current issues in our schools.

“This week it was revealed there were 6,800 students suspended last year including children in prep and kindergarten as young as four and 1,774 incidents of physical abuse of another student in schools. Alarming attendance rates for Tasmanian year 11 and 12 extension schools were also revealed this week and it is clear students are not receiving the support they need to succeed on their education pathway.

“Education Minister Sarah Courtney must do more to help all Tasmanian school students. Labor welcomes today’s announcement but it does not go far enough.”

Josh Willie MLC  
Shadow Minister for Education & Early Years