Rise Up Australia Party believes that an optimum education is both a right and a necessity for every Australian. We are committed to building an education system that will equip our children, young adults and mature-age to succeed in an ever-increasing competitive world. We understand the role of education can increase the quality of life for every Australian and enhance communities.
Our aim is to see our public-school system among the best in the world. In a recent PISA (1) study in a pool of 65 countries, Australia ranked 6th in the World for reading, maths and science, however there is always pockets for improvement.
Learning needs to be instilled into children from their early years, as by age 3 children have acquired more than half of the language that they will use for the rest of their lives. We will look for methods to help parents increase the learning of their children in the home, before they start school. At school the 3 R’s, as well as recognising each student’s unique gifts, will form the basis of education.
Teachers should be trained to recognise their students’ particular emerging gifts, skills, potential and strengths, and have support for their cultivation. Students should take part in a focussed program fostering their giftings and offered scenarios for them to practice these in conjunction with others in a team approach. Opportunities for one-student-only conflict resolution should be considered as part of this program as well as throughout regular classes to encourage resilience and independent thinking. An integral aspect of these programs should include a life skills component.
All students deserve to get the same quality of education and high standard needs to be set by the public-school system under sound and regularly reported management of the state education department. Principals, teachers and other stakeholders (2) should have input into this. There should also be an end to the current marking systems, which have dumbed down standards, levelling out classroom learning to the lowest common denominator. Students need to be marked on their true ability and not on an average of class score, a.k.a. ‘a curve’. External exams should be set regularly and issued over the internet. Sample answers of all previous exams should be available online for all students to access. All exams need to be set in two parts to show firstly, the ability of a student to remember facts, and secondly to demonstrate their ability to apply their learning.
The implementation of understanding theory in unknown situations. All high school exams should be standardised country wide. Students to be given a lifetime student number and their marks to be recorded on the “My School” website under that number. Statistics and graphs to be issued showing the differences between home-grown Australians and immigrants, as well as benchmarking against the top countries overseas, so that we can measure our world standing. Each year the top 5% of scholars will be requested to, voluntarily and anonymously, complete a questionnaire as to their background and the study techniques that they used. These will be analysed and shared on the “My School” website to help other students with their preparation for exams.
Schools need to be funded equitably. This applies to all schools. It makes no difference whether they are Government or Private. We will not differentiate between any type of private schools e.g. Christian Schools. It is important that all schools can provide the same quality of education, regardless of whether they are in private, public or home-schooling. People in rural communities should also be able to receive the same quality of education as well. All country schools to have broadband / internet access. All country schools to have telephone/video conferencing with other schools with a collaborative approach for handling problems and sharing teaching techniques. An education website should also be used for teacher feedback and suggestions for outcome improvements. We will restructure the “My School” website and use it to identify struggling schools and give them extra assistance for greater outcomes and results.
Schools with students who face additional challenges would be entitled to extra funding, for example, targeted demographics include: all abilities, low income families, Indigenous, home-schooled, rural students and migrant families.
We would establish a School Technology Fund to ensure schools get the technology they need.
Every school in Australia will be eligible to apply for grants to acquire items such as:
To boost ICT equity in schools, applications from the most disadvantaged schools will be given priority.
When in office we will look at the real cost of children’s education, and in line with our policy of simplifying the tax system, we will recommend a straight deduction for all people who have children at school.
Current annual indexation would be replaced by a new measure that reflects the real cost increases across all schools.
We will also look to increase specialist teachers for children with special needs.
We support home schooling and the parents’/guardians’ rights to teach their children according to their own value system. Furthermore, we would advocate that the home school curriculum would continue to keep the national education standard for academic learning and pass a National year-end exam.
Parental involvement, chaplaincy and anti-bullying
Our aim is to see parents and schools work together and support each other in the spirit of diplomacy for the best outcome of the children. Parents also have the right to know what their children are being taught. We advocate parent/guardian and teacher liaison support to discuss issues that are problematic for either the student, the family or the teacher/school.
We plan to fund a national school chaplaincy program in all schools, government and non-government, as well as provide access to chaplains for the home-schooled.
We would advocate continued funding for the Secure Schools Programme or the like which helps protect schools that face a higher risk of attack, harassment or violence stemming from racial or religious intolerance.
We will fund and rebuild anti-bullying programmes that do not focus on any one demographic. We will defund and retract the current ‘Safe Schools’ Coalition ‘Anti-Bullying’ umbrella programmes and their subsidiary programmes ‘Respectful Relationships’ and the like, which have a heavy sexualised LBGTIQ content and question students’ sexual identity as well as wrongly implement sexual education throughout all other subjects. See our ‘Safe Schools Policy’.
Discipline and Control
There should be discipline in all schools. Every child has the right to learn in a safe environment, free from physical, or verbal abuse. Principals and teachers will be empowered to tackle both physical and cyber bullying, both in, and off, the school grounds, and we would support a national anti-bullying education campaign, removing ‘Safe-Schools’ style approach. We believe that Principals should have the right to discipline students within strict non-physical guidelines, and to expel non-conforming students.
Students who are expelled will have the right to appeal to a State run Board. We believe that board should be independent and consist of a cross section of the community. The student should be allowed at least one representative present to speak on their behalf if necessary.
Government and Private School Teachers’ Salaries
We believe that teachers’ salaries should be set at levels which recognise their training and experience.
For this reason, the salary grades for teachers will be increased by an extra level to allow for rewarding our best and brightest teachers. It is envisaged that no more than 10% of teachers would be paid at this grade.
As with other professionals, all teachers will be required to spend 20 hours per year in ongoing teaching skills development training, in order to keep abreast of the latest teaching techniques. Top teachers will be identified, and their lessons videotaped, and these will be used to assist in raising the performance of other teachers and trainee teachers.
To allow Australian children to be among the best educated in the world, it is essential that we have a nationally consistent curriculum. To this end we will widen the consultative process.
We will also ensure that all school children are taught a curriculum that includes a balanced view of history, which includes the history of Western civilization (Greek, Roman and European), Aboriginal history, Magna Carta, Westminster democracy and our Judeo-Christian heritage that has come to us through, our British beginnings. We remember, the words of Henry Parkes, founding father, who said, “We are pre-eminently a Christian nation, as our laws, our whole system of jurisprudence, our constitution … are based upon and interwoven with our Christian beliefs”.
We do not believe that certain sexual education should be in the school curriculum, for example, the Safe Schools Coalition Programs, including the Respectful Relationships programs. However, a standardised age appropriate, basic sexual education program should continue with the knowledge of the parents.
Resources will be supplied to enable teachers to be trained in the new curriculum particularly in the area of history. Access to internet resources and other IT technology will be used extensively in the training cycle.
We believe it is beneficial to learn/speak a second language and would encourage teaching in both primary and secondary schools, particularly where it enhances student’s vocation/future career opportunities with our major international trading partners. However, we do not support mandatory teaching of other languages should the student or parent/guardian be focused on other education opportunities where other languages are not a necessity for their intended vocation.
Transparency & Outcomes
In line with Rise Up Australia Party’s policy of government transparency, all schools will be mandatorily required to publish information on the “My School” website. This will allow all Australians to follow the progress of the schools and their performance both academically and financially. This intense scrutiny should lead to inquiry, and faster solutions to avoid a drop in international benchmarking results.
All students should be encouraged to complete year 12, either at an academic school, VCAL, TAFE or home school unless enlisted in trade education, an apprenticeship or the Australian Defence Force.
Rise Up Australia Party will support the establishment of new Technical Colleges, in partnership with industry. These TAFES will provide high quality training for apprentices, as well as alleviating the skills shortage in traditional trades.
They will also allow students the opportunity to complete their high school education while doing their apprenticeship.
We will look at phasing out government funding for privately provided VET where TAFES can provide the same education and training.
University education should be made available to all Australian students, including mature age, who can meet minimum academic entry requirements, and Australians should be given first preference before overseas students.
RUAP does not believe in minimum gender quotas and, during the enrolment process, the student should not be discriminated against on gender, religion, ethnicity or social values.
Universities should be allowed, however, to offer full-fee paying places to potential students whose marks do not meet the HECS requirements, provided that, this does not take away from the Commonwealth subsidised places that are available.
Students should not be forced to join student unions, or any other organisations, if they do not wish to, and not be marginalised on either choice.
There should be additional assistance for indigenous students or those from under privileged families or circumstances to enable them to attend universities.
Rise Up Australia Party understands the value of a quality education with the importance of access for every Australian. We believe our success as a nation is partly borne out of a sound education system.
2 “Other stakeholders” would include representatives of parents, employers, government, Universities and TAFES
Updated January 2019