Minister for Education Rob Stokes praised the achievements of his predecessor Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli, including his focus on improving the quality of teaching in regional and remote schools, during a visit to Griffith today.
Mr Stokes, sworn in as Minister early last week, was given a personal tour of Wade High, Griffith High and Griffith Public schools by Mr Piccoli.
Mr Stokes acknowledged Mr Piccoli's achievements as Education Minister, including leading the nation in implementing Gonski reforms. This has seen NSW schools promised $3.2 billion in new funding with regional and remote schools amongst the biggest beneficiaries.
Mr Piccoli's other initiatives for rural and regional NSW included an $80 million commitment to improve teaching to close the achievement gap, additional support for 15 schools in vulnerable Aboriginal communities and $46 million to deliver fast and reliable wireless connections.
"Adrian was an outstanding Minister for Education and it's my firm intention to build on what he achieved," Mr Stokes said.
During his visit, Mr Stokes said he was impressed by the commitment to evidence-based quality teaching evident at Griffith's public schools.
He said the emphasis on improving outcomes by improving teaching, boosted by Gonski funding that Mr Piccoli won for NSW, was achieving strong results during a tour of Wade High, Griffith High and Griffith Public Schools.
"Improving educational outcomes for every student is at the forefront at every public school here," Mr Stokes said.
"Extra flexible funding has enabled the schools to identify and resource priorities that will foster the greatest boost to students' educational achievement.
"Each of the schools places a priority on further enhancing the quality of teaching through instructional leadership, the effective use of data to inform evidence based initiatives and professional learning."
Mr Piccoli said he was delighted to share with Mr Stokes how Griffith public schools have taken advantage of needs-based funding and local decision-making to raise students' outcomes.
"Our Griffith public schools are now better resourced than ever to meet the needs of each of their students," Mr Piccoli said.
"They focus on measuring and tracking progress, then adjusting their teaching strategies to support and strengthen each student's achievement."
Mr Stokes' visit to Griffith schools follows a period of community consultation over several proposals to improve secondary education facilities in the regional city.
The consultation, completed late last year, involved hundreds of people in the local community having their say with 1212 views of at least one page of the engagement website and 115 downloads of documents.
A report on the consultation is being prepared.