I was pleased to host 88 primary students for a once in a lifetime look at NSW Parliament recently. The students, who all hold leadership positions at 22 Hornsby schools, had a tour of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. Both houses were in session and the students were treated to some lively debates.
Students attended with Principals, parents and teachers who all enjoyed the behind the scenes look at State politics. Premier Gladys Berejiklian was able to pop in and spend some time answering questions. She was very impressed with the calibre of questions that came from many of the students. One student, possibly a future politician, tried to convince the Premier she needed to ban homework!
The students also heard from Rugby League legend Brad Fittler and Waratah Youth Development Coach and ex-player Pat McCutcheon who spoke about how to be a good leader. I particularly like what Pat told the kids about developing leadership skills:
“No-one is ever the best leader. Leadership is something that’s progressive – you’re always learning and always developing,” Mr McCutcheon said.
It’s an opportunity to congratulate these students and encourage them to continue to develop their leadership skills. I hope some or all will one day consider using those skills to serve our community.
Funding boost for local schools
Primary students across Hornsby will be benefiting from over $1 million being invested in teacher education. The Quality Teaching, Successful Students initiative ensures schools have the funds to allow teachers to continue to train and improve their skills.
Schools will be able to determine how this funding is best spent to address an area of need. Thornleigh West Public School will be benefiting from an increase to over $100,000 in funding this year, the equivalent of one additional full-time teacher.
Principal Chantal Mamo will use the funding to employ five casuals on one day to allow a whole team of teachers to be released from class. This group will work alongside an Assistant Principal to focus on quality teaching to enhance student learning.
Pennant Hills and Normanhurst West Public will receive $94,000 each, and Hornsby North and Hornsby South Public Schools over $100,000 each.
Education Minister Rob Stokes has confirmed the Government will be spending $88 million under the initiative in 2017, up from $38 million last year.
The teachers of NSW public schools are creating the future and empowering a new generation of young people to make the most of their talents. I believe this funding will better equip schools for their job of teaching and providing the best possible education for children in our public schools.