Safe Schools Victoria head could pocket almost $300k over two years

Alex White, Herald Sun, 17 January 2017

THE new head of Victoria’s contentious Safe Schools program could pocket almost $300,000 over two years as the state pushes ahead with the curriculum.

The Victorian Government is looking to fill the newly created manager position of the anti-bullying program after it cut ties with Safe Schools founder Roz Ward in December.

There was pressure to dump Ms Ward — who set up the program with La Trobe University — after she was photographed confronting a pro-Trump demonstrator at anti-Trump rally in June last year.

The successful candidate will work under the Department of Education and Training and is being offered between $111,484 and $149,188 a year for a 24-month contract to implement the controversial anti-bullying program aimed at supporting LGBTI students.

Opposition Education spokes­man Nick Wakeling said the new position was an added expense for taxpayers and renewed his calls for the program to be dropped.

“Daniel Andrews has wasted over a million dollars forcing his values on families rather than teaching kids to read and write,” he said.

“Our education standards have fallen behind Kazakhstan yet Daniel Andrews doesn’t seem to care.”

Department spokesman Simon Craig said the curriculum was vital to students.

“To ensure the Safe Schools program continues to support safe and inclusive school environments, the Department is now recruiting a manager and three other positions for the Safe Schools team, ‘’ he said.

“The team will lead the vital work of supporting young LGBTIQ children and young people, and keeping them safe from bullying.”

Education Minister James Merlino said in December that Victoria would take over the program after funding was axed by the Federal Government, before Ms Ward was stood down.

The move will cost Victorians an additional $300,000 a year on top of $1.04 million allocated to the anti-bullying program in the 2015-16 budget.

Almost 60 per cent of schools have already signed up to the compulsory curriculum, however some parents have raised concerns about the types of lessons and sexual content being taught.



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