Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has invited the Minister for Education James Merlino to meet with concerned representatives, as the community seeks government assistance in finding solutions to improving education outcomes for its children.
“Looking at the NAPLAN results just released for the four state secondary colleges in Shepparton and Mooroopna, each of these schools is performing substantially below the national average in both reading and numeracy. This is not what we want for our children,” Ms Sheed said.
“Parents are leaving state secondary education in the Shepparton district on a continuing basis, and in the meantime, our private schools are bursting at the seams. We must return some pride to our public school system,” she said.
Ms Sheed reflected on the falling enrolments at three of the four state secondary colleges, including at Mooroopna where they have almost halved in eight years, and continue to fall.
“The Auditor-General's report of April 2014 entitled Access to Education for Rural Students found that rural students are behind their metropolitan peers on academic achievement, attendance, senior secondary school completion and connectedness to their school.
“These figures certainly represent the outcomes for our secondary students in the state education system in Shepparton and Mooroopna.
“It has been the case for a number of years, and the principals of those schools have, with some assistance, formed the Better Together Alliance in an attempt to address many of these issues as well as wider curriculum issues, but this alone will not solve the problems that exist in our secondary education system,” Ms Sheed said.
Ms Sheed said she is confident the community is ready for change.
“We are aware of the statistics at our schools. We want better outcomes for our children. We already have 300 local residents volunteering through our local Lighthouse Project. They are going into the schools to read to prep-grade students, acting as mentors to year 7s and participating in other reading programs throughout the system.
Some assistance must now come from the government to help us address what has been a progressive decline in public education in Shepparton,” she said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org