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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 2 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 653..


Education-school assessments

(Question No 43)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 8 December 2004:

(1) How many years has the A.C.T. Assessment Program (ACTAP) been operating across A.C.T. schools;

(2) For each year of ACTAP testing, how many students

(a) were included in the ACTAP,

(b) in A.C.T. Government schools had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD),

(c) with ASD were placed in mainstream settings in the A.C.T. education system,

(d) with ASD were eligible for ACTAP testing,

(e) of those tested with ASD achieved the national benchmark level in literacy and numeracy;

(3) If any students with ASD were not tested, what was the reason;

(4) Are there any other formal measures of progress for students who were not included in benchmark testing;

(5) What progress or achievement level was measured among all students with ASD;

(6) Where are education outcomes for students with ASD reported.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Seven years.

(2) (a) In 1998, 6,109 students in Years 3 and 5 in ACT Government schools were assessed in ACTAP. Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in ACT Government schools participated in 1999 and 2000, with 10,766 students assessed in 1999 and 10,599 students in 2000. In 2001, Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in ACT Government schools, and Years 3 and 5 and some Year 7 students in Catholic schools participated in ACTAP, with 13,943 students assessed. Since 2002, all ACT Government and Catholic schools and some independent schools have participated in ACTAP, with 16,126 students assessed in 2002, 16,792 students in 2003 and 16,806 students in 2004.

(b) The department uses the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) heading in the student disability criteria to cover students with a range of disorders along the autism spectrum. Across ACT Government schools data is collected at this level rather than the specific diagnosis level. The total number of students in ACT Government schools that met the student disability criteria for PDD is: 2004 - 323, 2003 - 201, 2002 - 196, 2001 - 182 and 2000 - 130. Data is not available for 1998 and 1999.

(c) There were 245 PDD students in mainstream school settings in 2004, 70 were in Learning Support Units specifically for students with PDD (LSU/PDD), 15 were in generic LSUs and 16 were in Learning Support Centres (LSC). The majority (144) were in mainstream classes. In 2003 there were 184 PDD students in mainstream school settings, 41 were in LSU/PDD, 9 in generic LSUs, 11 in LSCs and 123 in mainstream classes. In 2002 there were 130 PDD students in mainstream school


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