Regional schools off to a strong start in 2015
Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson welcomed regional students back to school for 2015.
Mr Piccoli and Mr Anderson visited Tamworth Public School, where 123 Kindergarten students are starting school for the first time — one of the largest Kindergarten cohorts in the State.
“The first day of school is a big one for all students, especially for those starting school for the first time,” Mr Piccoli said.
“Parents in regional areas can be confident in the NSW Government’s strong focus on rural and remote education and our commitment to bridge the gap in educational achievement between city and country students.
“Today I have released a report card on the NSW Government’s $80 million Rural and Remote Blueprint for Action, launched here in Tamworth in 2013.
“We have either achieved or are on track to deliver each of the 26 commitments contained in the plan.”
Key achievements from the Rural and Remote Blueprint for Action include:
- Increasing equity funding by $42.3 million to rural and remote schools;
- Implementing a new preschool funding model that includes additional funding;
- Introducing new scholarships, cadetships and internships to attract and retain quality teachers in rural and remote areas;
- Opening the State’s first virtual high school, Aurora College, which enables regional students to take subjects not available at their local high school; and
- Establishing four Networked Specialist Centres at Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Broken Hill where schools and other government agencies can share expertise to support students with complex needs. A further 11 centres will open this year.
Mr Anderson said the Rural and Remote strategy had delivered for the Tamworth electorate, particularly with the establishment of one of the first Networked Specialist Centres.
“In Tamworth, the specialist centre is linking schools with other government and non-government agencies including Housing NSW, the NSW Police, Headspace and the Benevolent Society to support those students with complex needs in the Tamworth and New England area.
“We have seen a substantial increase in funding for schools in the Tamworth electorate under the new Resource Allocation Model, which in 2015 alone has provided more than $12 million in needs-based funding.
“The Nationals are delivering for regional schools — we said we would increase funding and provide additional support and that is what we have done.”