House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Statements by Members


1:39 pm

Photo of Sophie ScampsSophie Scamps (Mackellar, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to express my concern about the state of the Australian education system. Just last month, we heard the startling news that one-third of Australian students failed to meet the proficiency standards for literacy and numeracy required by the NAPLAN test. Surely, as a wealthy and advanced nation, we can do better. Adequate investment in our children's education is crucial—not least, so that every Australian child has the opportunity to reach their full potential, but also as the prosperity of our nation depends upon having a well-educated, thinking population.

Recently, I was invited by their P&C to visit Narrabeen Sports High School, a school that is just down the road from my office. I was, quite frankly, shocked and saddened by what was shown to me. The school was in a dire state of disrepair and dilapidation. The roofs were leaking. Staircases were rotting. There were holes in the walls. Carpets were cut out because of mould. And science labs had not been working for years. What message does this send to the students and staff? I'm pleased to report that, since my visit and the ensuing media attention, significant works to remedy the situation have been started.

Despite the Gonski review being handed down in 2011, in 2023 public schools are still only being funded to 7.8 per cent below the Schooling Resource Standard. This equates to an annual funding shortfall to our public schools of $1.27 billion. (Time expired)