The 2002 school year begins with the employment of 45 additional permanent teachers in primary schools. These new colleagues are the first group of an eventual 180 new primary teachers added to the staffing formula to reduce K-Year 3 classes to 21 by 2004. This major funding boost is the direct result of AEU ACT campaigning, alongside the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations. On our urging, the Labor opposition commits to scrap the ill-advised free school bus scheme and redirect $27m to employing more primary teachers – a commitment the Stanhope Government delivers on after its victory in the October 2001 election.
Improved staffing is accompanied by additional funding for Information Technology, students at risk, High School development, student pathways, a Centre for Teaching and Learning Technologies, online curriculum, a boost to staffing in the Schools Office, teacher fellowships, improvements in induction arrangements for beginning teachers, adolescent mental health programs and more permanent employment in CIT.