Liberals to ensure all children have opportunity to succeed

Every child will be given the opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of what classroom they sit in under a Canberra Liberals Government.  

The Canberra Liberals want all children to have the opportunity to get the skills they need to succeed in the future. That’s why we’ll provide funding for a full-time qualified teacher librarian in every ACT public school to complement the work of our exemplary classroom teachers.   

The Canberra Liberals will invest an extra $15.5 million into our children’s education over four years to create 50 new teacher librarian positions in schools that don’t have them. 

We will also pilot the well-regarded Clontarf Academy for 12 months in an ACT Government high school to provide behavioural and lifestyle support to young Indigenous boys to give them a healthy output and help them excel in their studies.  

The Leader of the Canberra Liberals Alistair Coe said he wanted all Canberra children to benefit from qualified, information specialists.   

“We want Canberra students to achieve the best academic outcomes, not just in Australia, but in the world,” Mr Coe said.   

“While literacy standards in the ACT have been progressively falling in recent years, providing students with qualified teacher librarians is a real and practical solution to help students reach their full potential.” 

Shadow Minister for Education Elizabeth Lee said the value of qualified teacher librarians to our students’ learning could not be understated. 

“Teacher librarians can make an enormous contribution to improving our students’ literacy skills, but that is just the start,” Ms Lee said.  

“They teach students how to navigate the digital realm, how to problem solve, how to research and explore ideas. They open students up to a world of critical, creative and information literacy and provide them with a supportive learning environment. This is a small investment for something that will achieve big outcomes for our children,” Ms Lee said.    

The Clontarf Foundation exists to improve the education, life skills, discipline and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys.  

The Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs James Milligan said the Clontarf Academy had proven hugely successful in other jurisdictions, with more than 9,000 indigenous high school students having participated in the program since 2000. 

“Young boys who participate in the Clontarf Academy are given access to training sessions, fitness programs, sports mentors and competitive games,” Mr Milligan said.  

“This has proven extremely successful to motivate young boys in their studies and provide them with a healthy outlet.  

“The Canberra Liberals have already identified several schools, and we are currently working with the Clontarf Foundation to assess the suitability of each for a pilot,” Mr Milligan said.  

“We can give all Canberra children an opportunity to reach their full potential if we provide proper funding to practical programs that deliver real outcomes,” Mr Coe said. 

ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations: 

In Better Schools beyond 2020 said: “Every school must have a permanent, fully resourced library which is properly staffed by qualified teacher librarians.” Read more.  

Teacher Librarians: 

Holly Godfrey and Olivia Neilsen, Australian Education Union: “Every child has a right to receive a high-quality education.” We would respectfully put forward that this cannot happen in the 21st century without a qualified teacher librarian in every school. Read more.  

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health & Community Services CEO Julie Tongs on the introduction of the Clontarf program in the ACT: 

“The intensive support provided by the Clontarf team over the border in Karabar High are already showing great outcomes for disadvantaged First Nations kids.

“Clontarf have partnered with some big name businesses in the region to ensure that the kids are provided with employment opportunities when they finish college and continue to provide support and mentoring to those in employment.”