Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the Government must give immediate attention to Shepparton, if Victoria is to truly be “the Education State”.
Speaking in Parliament, Ms Sheed again highlighted the stateof Shepparton District schools, facing falling enrolments and disappointing education outcomes.
“The Andrews Labor Government came to power on a promise that it would make Victoria the education state.
“Shepparton District schools have received a total of $1.95mill as part of the planned maintenance program since 2014.
“In addition Congupna Primary School, Waaia, Yalca South Primary School and the Zeerust Primary School have received a total of $350,000 in capital funding in the 2016-17 State budget through the School Pride and Sports Fund,” Ms Sheed said.
“While it has been pleasing to see this investment in my electorate I must say that I have looked at the NAPLAN results just released of the four state secondary colleges. In Shepparton and Mooroopna alone, each of these schools are performing substantially below the national average in both reading and numeracy.
“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.
“There is so much evidence showing the educational disadvantage generally but more so it is worrying that this is particularly the case for students who reside outside metropolitan areas, indigenous students and students from low socio-economic backgrounds. These are all ingredients that we have in the Shepparton electorate,” she said.
Ms Sheed noted the latest reports from two major international assessments of student learning - the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
“The PISA report in particular highlights the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students is very large – the equivalent to three years of schooling,” she said.
“Where you go to school matters in Australia.
“It matters as to whether you live in a regional, remote or metropolitan area. It often matters whether you go to a state school or private school.
“I have called on the government to provide support and assistance to the Shepparton District in looking at the challenges we have ahead. The issues of falling enrolments, of disadvantage and disparity in outcomes must be addressed.
“If Victoria is to be the education state then there is a great deal of work to be done and addressing the problems of my own electorate is something that is very important to me, and to so many in my community,” Ms Sheed said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org