Jan 30, 2012

Back to school for thousands of Inner West students

This week is an exciting time for thousands of local students, who will be returning to even better equipped schools, thanks to the Gillard Labor Government’s investment of more than $65 billion in education.

The Gillard Government believes every child in every school should have access to a great education, which is why we have almost doubled funding to schools since 2007.

In the electorate of Grayndler, this funding has given students access to:

  • New or upgraded school facilities, including 12 libraries, 20 multipurpose halls and 30 classroom projects;
  • 5891 new computers in schools; and
  • Support to address disadvantage, improve literacy and numeracy and improve teacher quality through the Smarter Schools National Partnerships, with three schools in the local area taking part.

This Government’s commitment to education has made a real difference to schools in the Inner West, with students having access to a fantastic education.

I would also remind local families to take advantage of the Australian Government’s Education Tax Refund, with families able to claim 50 per cent of eligible education expenses, up to a maximum refund of $794 for high school children and $397 for primary school children on back-to-school items.

The Education Tax Refund can help ease the financial pressure that the new school year can put on families.

School-approved uniforms, including hats, footwear and sports uniforms purchased from 1 July 2011 can be claimed at tax time in 2012, so I would urge families to keep their receipts.

In 2012, the Australian Government will begin to deliver:

  • $200 million for the More Support for Students with Disabilities initiative in government and non-government schools, in addition to the $40 million already allocated to children with autism and their families;
  • More than $62 million to support increased local decision-making in 1,000 government and non-government schools over 2012 and 2013; and
  • $30 million over two years towards closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student results, by improving attendance, classroom participation, and literacy and numeracy achievement in specially selected schools.

The Gillard Government also this year launched a new website, the Easy Guide to Socialising Online, which was developed to help parents, children and educators combat cyberbullying and inappropriate content;

For more information about the Education Tax Refund, visit www.educationtaxrefund.gov.au

For more information about the Australian Government’s education reform agenda, visit www.deewr.gov.au/schooling

The Government’s new cyberbullying website can be found at www.dbcde.gov.au/easyguide