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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 2 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 661..

(1) Does the Government expect teachers in special settings to provide clinical treatment for autism and related disorders given that in 2004 the Government cut therapy services (visits from specialist professionals) for children in special school settings leaving teachers to treat and manage children with these clinical disorders;

(2) Since therapy services for children in special schools cut in the 2004 school year, how were the funds from this budget initiative spent on clinical services for children with autism in special schools in the 2004 school year;

(3) Does the Government ensure that teachers of students with autism in A.C.T. special education settings have specialised knowledge and experience of autism and related disorders that is equivalent to that of a clinical psychologist and speech pathologist; if not, why not.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) No.

(2) There were no cuts to therapy services provided to special schools. Therapy ACT has experienced some difficulty in recruiting appropriately qualified staff to fill vacancies and this may have affected service delivery.

(3) Teachers are not required to have specialised knowledge equivalent to that of a clinical psychologist and speech pathologist. Teachers are encouraged and supported to enhance their knowledge and gain qualifications through participation in a range of professional learning activities relating to the education of students with special needs. Teachers are responsible for the delivery of the educational program not the delivery of therapeutic programs such as those provided by psychologists and speech pathologists, however teachers work in collaboration with the specialist professionals.

Education-school cleaning contracts

(Question No 54)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 9 December 2004:

(1) What is the process of prequalification as a cleaning contractor in a Government school;

(2) Do companies or individuals who prequalify have to be parties to any kind of industry code of practice;

(3) Which company or individual held the cleaning contract for each Government school in (a) 2004, (b) 2003, (c) 2002 and (d) 2001.

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

(1) Cleaning contractors wishing to be prequalified for cleaning in Government schools are assessed as per the criteria outlined in the Call for Applications and Granting of Prequalifications Status of Cleaning Contractors DEYFS 3327.

(2) No.

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