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Equality in Education

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The National/Liberal Coalition government which held office between 1996 and 1998 had a programme called “Leading Schools.” It provided major additional funds for those state schools that established school councils and adopted certain management practices. On becoming Education Minister Wells immediately scrapped the programme of differential funding and rerouted the funds to needs based educational programmes, particularly literacy. He defended his decision in Parliament in these terms.

The Leading Schools concept was a concept concerning glitz and glamour. It was a concept about managerial claptrap. It was a concept about training the mums and dads to be management consultants after dark instead of educating our children. It was an..... elitist concept. Leading Schools was all about pitting schools against each other and making schools competitive with one another. However, education is not about competition, it is about human development. If we turn it into a tawdry capitalistic contest between state schools, we cut out the vitals of an education system that would otherwise be capable of enabling young people in this State to maximize their human potential.

Queensland Parliamentary Debates 2001


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