Abbott’s corporatised education will sell out students’ futures

12 June 2014

AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said today that Tony Abbott’s plan for corporate-run schools would increase inequity in the system, waste scarce resources and short-change students on the quality of their education.

“Reports today that Tony Abbott wants to copy the US-model of schools funded and controlled by private corporations, such as IBM, are deeply concerning,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“At the same time that Mr Abbott is cutting Gonski funding for schools he is suggesting governments should hand over funding to schools that are controlled by big corporations who will pursue their own profits and interests rather than those of students.

“Allowing corporations to ‘shape’ the curriculum means that students will get a narrow education that is shaped towards the corporation’s needs, not the students’.

“School curriculums should not be sold to the highest corporate bidder.

“All students deserve a high-quality education to equip them to participate in society and for a life in the workforce.

“Students leaving schools today can expect to have several different careers. They need a broad curriculum that prepares them for this, not one that is designed for the short-term staffing needs of one company.

“Tony Abbott should abandon this thought bubble, and reassure Australian parents that he will not be handing over schools to corporations.

“If not, he should tell us which multinational companies he wants running our schools. Our students are not for sale.

“International experience has shown us that this model gives corporations a foot in the door to start running parts of the school system, and using them to make a profit at the expense of students.

“Furthermore, allowing corporatised schools to select their students leads to greater segregation in schooling and diminishing educational outcomes.

“Allowing for-profit corporations to run schools goes against the proud history of education in Australia. It has huge risks for the quality of education and the equity of our system.

“The best way to prepare our children for the future is through well-resourced public schools in all communities providing all students with the education they need to reach their potential.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291