ACT Budget Fails to Deliver Promise On ACT Classrooms
Budget honours Gonski commitment but fails to deliver election promise on ACT classrooms.
ACT Government to be Congratulated on Gonksi
The ACT Government is to be congratulated for honouring it’s Gonski commitments in the budget released today. By budgeting for the delivery of Gonski funding over 6 years, it’s making it clear to the Abbott Government that they must not walk away from ACT school students.
Fails to deliver on 2012 Election Promise
Despite the commendable commitment to Gonski over the long term, today’s budget fails to deliver on ACT Labor’s commitment to invest $70m in school infrastructure, made in its 2012 election policy ‘Vision for Education’.
AEU ACT Branch Secretary, Glenn Fowler, said: “Too many lessons in February and March and November and December are being compromised by extreme heat. In the depths of winter, heating in our schools is too often inadequate”
“The ACT Labor Party made a firm commitment in 2012 to invest $70 million in enhancing school infrastructure. Investing in efficient, environmentally friendly cooling and heating solutions is an urgent priority and yet, to date, the Government has delivered little.”
73 ACT Schools Lack Comprehensive Cooling
In response to member concerns about extreme temperatures, the AEU requested that the Education & Training Directorate conduct an audit of all ACT classrooms. “The Directorate’s own audit shows 73 of our schools lack comprehensive cooling systems. 11 of our schools do not have cooling in their libraries.” Mr Fowler said.
Inadequate Classroom Conditions Affects Student Learning
“The vast majority of office environments, including those of other ACT public servants, are fitted with adequate cooling and heating solutions. Yet the ACT Government’s own audit shows these don’t exist in many schools across the Territory. This isn’t just the working conditions of teachers and school assistants that we’re talking about, it’s students’ learning conditions. Year in, year out, we receive calls from members reporting that extreme temperatures in classrooms are diminishing students’ ability to concentrate on learning.”
“In Canberra in 2014, efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling solutions should be in place in all classrooms. The ACT’s Work Health and Safety Code of Practice states optimum temperatures are between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. AEU guidelines indicate classroom temperatures should be between 17 and 30 degrees. The reality is temperatures in ACT classrooms often exceed these limits and student learning suffers as a result.”
Also read: When our classrooms are just too hot, February 5, 2014