Benowa State School ECDP faces axe

4 Mar 2016 12:00 AMJohn-Paul Langbroek

A vital education program for the Gold Coast’s youngest and most vulnerable students is set to be axed by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek said the Early Childhood Development Programs (ECDP) at Benowa State School would soon be cut, and the Palaszczuk Labor Government was refusing to do anything about it.


“This program provides invaluable support to children before they enter Prep and is specifically designed for children with significant support needs arising from a diagnosed or suspected disability,” Mr Langbroek said.  


“As the former Education Minister, I saw the merits of the program, and understandably, parents are deeply concerned about how their children will be supported once this program is gone.


“Education Minister Kate Jones can choose to continue the ECDP at Benowa State School, but instead she’s trying to shirk her responsibility and blame the Federal Government.


“Our kids don’t need a blame game or a war-of-words, they need this program to continue so they can get the support they need to enter Prep."


Mr Langbroek said Minister Jones was questioned by the LNP opposition about the closure of the ECDPs in Parliament, but instead of putting families’ minds at ease, she continued to try and claim that it wasn’t her problem.


Shadow Education Minister Tim Mander said this claim was at odds with the Minister’s own departmental website which states this program is the sole responsibility of Education Queensland.


“The constant excuses we hear from Education Minister Kate Jones aren’t good enough and could ultimately prevent these kids from reaching their full potential,” Mr Mander said.


“It’s about time the Palaszczuk Labor Government stopped blaming everyone else for their failings and started going about addressing them – Queensland’s special needs students deserve nothing less.”


Mr Langbroek said the LNP supported the continuation of the ECDP and called on Labor to do the same.


“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s claim that the National Disability Insurance Scheme will fulfil the role of the ECDPs is ludicrous - parents know that, educators know that and the LNP knows that,” he said.  


“Education is the foundation of opportunity, and I call on the Education Minister Kate Jones to reverse her decision to cut these invaluable services to ensure Queensland students get the best chance possible to have a bright future.”


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