Save Our Schools strives for a high quality public education system that:
- Ensures that all children receive the education necessary for a full adult life and to be active citizens;
- Achieves social equity in education outcomes; and
- Sustains a democratic and socially tolerant society.
Education For All
Public education should be free and open to all to ensure non-selective and non-discriminatory access to education. Every child has a right to be educated, to develop as a human being. This capability should not be denied to anyone, either by design or neglect.
A public education system should ensure that:
- All children, without regard to gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status, receive an education that enables them to fully participate in, and contribute to, adult society;
- Access to schooling is not dependent on family circumstances;
- All children learn to respect, understand and tolerate cultural and social differences;
- All children have reasonable physical access to a government school;
- Partnerships between home and school are developed to support children’s learning; and
- The public is involved in decision-making about educational policy.
Social equity in education
Social equity in education should be a key goal of public education. Not only should all students achieve the socially expected minimum level of education, but outcomes for students from different social groups should be broadly similar. It means that school outcomes should be free from the effect of negative forms of discrimination and free of differences arising from students’ socio-economic background or geographical location.
While a high quality public education is critical to the achievement of social equity in education outcomes, it cannot be achieved without change in other factors that affect school outcomes. Equity in education also depends on social reforms that address the impact of family background factors such as income, employment, health and nutrition, housing and access to transport on early childhood experiences and school outcomes.
Education for democracy and social cohesion
Public education should not only serve the public but it also establishes the public. It should provide all children with the knowledge and skills necessary for citizenship and participation in the democratic process.
A public education should promote social cohesion amongst people of different cultural and religious backgrounds by providing a common socialising experience while respecting social diversity. It should inculcate values such as mutual respect for others and social tolerance of people of different backgrounds and beliefs.
A public education system should also give effect to democracy by being accountable to the public and by providing for public participation in the formulation of education policy at the system and school levels.