A great education depends on two things: excellent teachers who can bring learning to life, and well-equipped classrooms where this learning can happen.
With this Budget, the ACT Government is investing in both to deliver better schools for our kids. Our $210 million new investment in local schools comes on top of the $1.2 billion we deliver for our schools each year.
Better school facilities
We are investing in the renewal of Canberra’s school facilities, with $85 million for new learning spaces, toilets and change rooms, garden and horticultural facilities, heating and cooling upgrades and energy efficiency improvements.
We will also continue the delivery of a better Belconnen High School, with refurbished technology areas, upgraded outdoor learning and teaching environments and roof replacement.
It’s a fundamental principle of our Government that all Canberra kids can have a place at a good local public school. That’s why this Budget will expand the capacity of Harrison School, Gold Creek School, Neville Bonner Primary School and Palmerston District Primary School and increase the capacity of the new primary school in North Gungahlin, creating room for another 844 students.
We will also carry out scoping and early planning for new schools in the Molonglo Valley and East Gungahlin, to ensure good local schools grow alongside these new communities.
Supporting our students and teachers
This Budget will deliver 25 scholarships a year to help Canberra’s teachers gain post-graduate qualifications in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM), as well as those who want to gain qualifications in another language. STEM learning is increasingly important in preparing our kids for the jobs of the future, so we will ensure ACT schools have more skilled teachers who can confidently and engagingly deliver these subjects.
At the same time, our funding of 66 school assistants across Canberra is taking the pressure off our teachers, freeing them up to spend more time on lesson planning and directly addressing the individual learning needs of our students.
Students can’t learn effectively if they are struggling with their mental health or bullying. We will ensure that Canberra schools are Safe Schools by continuing to fund this important program.
We will also hire the first five out of 20 school psychologists to be recruited over the next four years to better support student wellbeing and provide early intervention mental health services for young Canberrans.