Mr Watts the Member for Toowoomba North today has welcomed the launch of the LNP Government’s major education initiative with the first schools in the Darling Downs South West Education Region to receive a boost in Prep Teacher Aides.

Premier Campbell Newman said the $54 million program would enable the equivalent of a full-time teacher aide in 600 Queensland state school classes over four years.

“This significant commitment gives Queensland’s Prep children the best start to their education and supports frontline teachers in doing what they do best,” Mr Newman said.

Mr Watts said The LNP Government is committed to restoring front line services that has diminished over the years as a result of neglect by the previous Labor Government.

“Not only will this program restore those vital front line services but it will also give the children the best possible start that they could have throughout their years of education,” Mr Watts said.

The initiative beginning at the start of the 2013 school year will:

– extend to the first 154 classes in 107 schools across the state

– provide 2,341 additional teacher aide hours a week in the 2013 school year

– build over the following three years to 9,000 extra hours a week across the state to allow more full time aides working 25 hours a week.

Prep enrolments at the start of the 2013 school year will determine the exact allocation of teacher aide hours to the selected schools.

“This is a significant step in providing a greater level of care and learning to our Prep children.”

“More personalised attention will allow our children to grow their reading, writing and social skills at what is such a formative time in their development,” Mr Langbroek the Minister for Education said.

The 28 state schools in the Darling Downs South West education region that will receive additional Prep teacher aide hours from next year are: Benarkin, Broadwater, Charlton, Glennie Heights, Glenore Grove, Grantham, Injune, Kentville, Kingsthorpe, Lockrose, Moffatdale, Mount Sylvia, Murphy’s Creek, Proston, Surat, Tambo, Thargomindah, The Summit, Toowoomba North, Toowoomba South, Wallangarra, Wallumbilla, Warwick East, Wooroolin, Yarraman, Yelarbon and Yuleba state schools and Quilpie State College.

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