The Premier and the Education Minister made the announcement with the Member for Oatley Mark Coure while launching Education Week 2013 at Georges River College Penshurst Girls Campus.
“The NSW Government continues to deliver on its commitment to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes in public schools,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“This $25 million investment will allow teachers to tailor programs for individual students. They will be handed responsibility for coordinating their resources to develop a strategy targeting areas where a student is underperforming.
“The NSW Government is committed to increasing frontline resources in our schools and that’s why we have delivered 520 additional teachers to improve our children’s education.
“NSW has the nation’s best public schools, and the NSW Government is making them even better so students can achieve their learning potential,” Mr O’Farrell said.
Mr Piccoli said extra resources and new policies were boosting the high standard of teaching in the State’s public school system.
“Education Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of students, staff, parents, and community members at each of our 2,223 public schools,” he said.
“The NSW Government’s $10.24 billion investment in public schools this financial year alone indicates the priority given to public education and its 748,000 enrolled students.
“The NSW Government was also the first in Australia to sign with the Commonwealth to access extra funds under the Better Schools Plan, which was developed from recommendations of a committee chaired by businessman David Gonski.
“This will bring an extra $5 billion to NSW school education over six years, $1.76 billion from the State, in addition to the Commonwealth’s contribution of $3.27 billion.
“But the critical factor in any budget is how the money is spent, and that’s where public education in NSW is undergoing essential and lasting reform that will benefit students.
“Giving principals and parents a greater say in how schools are run is common sense, because they’re better at deciding their children’s educational needs than a remote bureaucracy with a one-size-fits-all mentality.
“This is why the NSW Government launched Local Schools, Local Decisions – a framework giving schools greater authority through local decision-making.
“Schools have already been given more flexibility and choice in selecting staff, and next year the Resource Allocation Model will be introduced allowing principals to manage 70 per cent of the school budget, compared with 10 per cent under Labor,” Mr Piccoli said.
Other programs introduced in the last two years include:
- The Every Student, Every School policy has strengthened the support to 90,000 students with disability, learning or behaviour needs;
- The Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan is funding an additional 220 full-time equivalent teachers to help students learn the basics; and,
- The Connected Communities strategy is assisting disadvantaged students in 15 selected NSW locations.
Mr Piccoli said the initiatives were already producing positive results, and more is being done to contribute to improvements in the quality of teaching.
“We’re improving teaching standards by raising the bar for university training course entrants, enhancing mentoring programs to support new teachers in schools, and better managing teacher performance,” he said.
“We’re taking these measures because we know teacher quality is the single most important in-school factor behind student results.
“Quality teachers, however, can only deliver effectively when a school operates efficiently.
“So, during Education Week, in addition to acknowledging the work of teachers, I also thank all support staff for their efforts.
“Together, our teachers and support staff ensure NSW has Australia’s best public education system, which benefits our students and the State as a whole,” Mr Piccoli said.