Gladstone schools benefit from funding boost
PREP students are winners this week, with a Queensland Government funding boost for teacher aides in public primary schools announced on Monday.
Premier Campbell Newman and Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek announced the third round of funding to deliver an extra 2250 Prep teacher aide hours each week to Queensland schools in 2015.
The funding will provide an extra 170.7 hours of Prep teacher aide time in the Gladstone region, Mr Langbroek told The Observer.
"For each of them it's at least another extra Prep teacher aide, and we know that's going to make a difference to the early years," he said.
Clinton State School and Kin Kora State School will receive the greatest boost.
Teacher aides are an integral part of the learning experience, and have always been top priority at Gladstone West State School, according to the school's acting principal Terry Rudder.
"We always prioritised Prep learning, but now the funds will be able to be shared more equitably across the school," he said.
Mr Rudder said most schools struggled to gain 20 hours a week of Prep teacher aide time, but Gladstone West had 25 in 2014.
The additional funding would not go to waste, he said, but would free up resources for other initiatives such as a current project to have wireless available across the whole school.
While the funding is valuable, Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates is concerned it will end in 2016.
"We certainly welcome the additional resources," he said.
"But for us it's a first step. There needs to be a lot more investment in that area.
"We want to see a full-time teacher aide in every Prep classroom."
Mr Bates urged the government to confirm the program would continue until this goal was reached.