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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3838..

Schools Assessment Reporting

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Education. The Standing Committee on Education, Community Services and Recreation wrote to the minister in August requesting information on the broad survey conducted by the department on literacy and numeracy reporting, including information on the methodology of the survey and the questions asked by the consultants in the phone survey that was conducted within it. As the department has now announced requirements for schools in reporting school assessment program results, can the minister explain why that information on the survey methodology and telephone survey questions has not been made available to the committee or the public? Will the minister undertake to release that information immediately and, if the survey methodology is found to be flawed, undertake to revisit the proposed reporting practice?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. I am sure the survey methodology is not flawed. Ms Tucker, I thought you had that information. I will chase that up. I would have thought that it had been sent to the committee. I seem to recall that occurring. Leave that one with me.

MS TUCKER: My supplementary question is: what guidelines has the government issued to schools on releasing school assessment program results this year, or can he assure the Assembly that year 2000 results will not be made public?

MR STEFANIAK: None of the results will be made public. The chief executive has already written to schools. Each school has a letter on the release of information. The results are not to be made public. It is exactly as I said it would be. The whole idea was to ensure that the confidentiality of students and the names of schools would be respected. It is merely about providing parents with some additional information, which is exactly what we did. The chief executive wrote to all schools some weeks ago.

International Hotel School

MR BERRY: My question to the Chief Minister is on the International Hotel School. He may have to take it on notice. It relates to the use of students as labour in hotels in the ACT, in particular a major hotel. Would you inform the Assembly whether or not this practice is occurring? As a policy, does the government endorse the supply of free labour from the International Hotel School to major hotels, understanding that some students have worked for eight hours a day, five days a week for up to three months?

MR HUMPHRIES: Obviously, I will take this question on notice, at least in part. I do know that students are used to provide services within the hotel school. I have been to functions where students have been in attendance, acting as waiters, sommeliers and the like. They have shown me around the building and so on.

It seems to me that it is inherent in any idea of a hotel school that students will have a hands - on role in conducting the activities that the people they are training to be are already doing. I think the question you are raising is to what extent this training and acquiring of skills uses the students as unpaid alternatives to paid staff. That is a matter I will take on notice.

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