NSW Greens angered by Catholic classroom critique

The NSW Greens has accused the state government of double standards on the distribution of political material in schools for failing to stop the Catholic Education Commission from distributing a critique of the Greens' education policy.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Greens candidate and spokesman on education, John Kaye, pointed to a pamphlet distributed by the NSW Catholic Education Commission that criticises a Greens' education policy favouring the reduction of NSW grants for Catholic schools and freezing them at the 2003 level.

The pamphlet, authorised by the Commission and the Council of Catholic School Parents, points out that the policy "would severely affect the funding and operation of Catholic schools".

Mr Kaye accused the government of turning a blind eye "to the outrageous behaviour of the NSW Catholic Education Commission" while at the same time telling public schools to keep politics out of schools.

He was responding to a reminder to school principals sent by NSW director general of education, Andrew Cappie-Wood, warning them against the distribution of overtly political material. He said discussion of controversial issues was only acceptable when it served an educational purpose.

"Material of an overtly political nature or which is considered by the principal to be inconsistent with the values of public education or the school's purpose and goals must not be distributed on the school site."

Dr Cappie-Wood said schools were neutral and should not be used as arenas for discussing opposing politics.

Dr Brian Croke from the NSW Catholic Education Commission told the Herald that its responsibility was to inform staff and parents about policies that would affect them.

Warning: no politics in the classroom (Sydney Morning Herald, 12/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Education Commission NSW
The Greens NSW

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13 Mar 2007

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