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Greens say childcare report must be released immediately

The Australian Greens have called on the Abbott government to release the Productivity Commission's childcare report immediately.

"The childcare sector is in crisis and the government must release this report immediately," the Greens' childcare spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"What the draft report showed us is that, if the government doesn't increase funding, the childcare crisis will continue to worsen. Tinkering at the edges won't do anything until overall childcare funding is increased.

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McSchools on the menu

Penny Wright 24 Oct 2014

The Federal Government could partner with McDonald's under a new corporate schools scheme, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has revealed.

Questioning in Senate estimates this week revealed the Education Department was discussing joining up with the fast food giant, and McDonald's has conceded it may participate in the Geelong pilot.

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Curriculum questions should Spurr rethink of national review

Penny Wright 22 Oct 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has called on the government to strike out advice to the national curriculum review from the academic at the centre of the racist emails scandal.

In Estimates questioning today it was also revealed that Professor Barry Spurr was paid $8250 for his input into the review of the Australian curriculum, and that the Education Department did not check the qualifications of the appointees.

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Keep big business out of the curriculum: Greens

Penny Wright 15 Oct 2014

Multi-national corporations should not be writing lesson plans for Australian classrooms, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said the Abbott Government's adoption of the US P-TECH model was a further step along the road to privatising public education.

"While the skills students are learning need to be relevant for 21st century jobs, our schools are not for sale - big business should not be writing the curriculum," Senator Wright said.

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Pyne's political curriculum review to take schools back to the past

Penny Wright 12 Oct 2014

The Australian Greens have warned a simplistic 'back to basics' approach to the school curriculum could leave Australian students without the necessary skills to navigate the 21st century.

Responding to the release of the curriculum review today, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright rejected Education Minister Christopher Pyne's claims it was not an ideological document.

"This review has told the Education Minster exactly what he wanted to hear, from hand-picked reviewers whose values were well-known to him," Senator Wright said.

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The Coalition's schools funding policies are increasing inequality

Penny Wright 24 Sep 2014

I move that the Senate-

(a) notes recent analysis by Mr Chris Bonnor and Mr Bernie Shepherd, which demonstrated that inequality between the most advantaged and disadvantaged schools has grown since the Gonski Review was completed in 2011;

(b) recognises the Commonwealth Government's decision to proceed with only the first 4 years of the Gonski school funding arrangements falls far short of the investment needed to reverse systemic disadvantage and deepening inequality; and

(c) calls on the Government to prioritise the reduction of inequality in Australian schools.

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Greens call for release of final curriculum review

Penny Wright 6 Sep 2014

The Australian Greens have called on the Abbott Government to release the final report of the Australian Curriculum review to end uncertainty for students and teachers.

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright said Education Minister Christopher Pyne had been handed the final report by Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire last month.

"This review has been highly controversial from the get-go." Senator Wright said. "It was premature and altogether too hasty, but it's time to end the uncertainty.

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Childcare poll shows fee pain increasing for Australian parents

An overwhelming 86% of Australian parents say that fees are one of their biggest concerns when it comes to getting their children into regular childcare, an Australian Greens poll of over 1000 parents has found.

"Parents from around the country are struggling under the weight of increasing childcare fees and it's time the government acted," the Greens' childcare spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"More mums and dads are struggling to keep their kids in care because of the cost and that is a very worrying sign.

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