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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2232..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

that some people like to blindly idolise the educational philosophy of the 1970s. I am willing to agree with him in theory that not everything that came out of the 1970s was an unqualified success. It would be quite a different matter, of course, for him to claim that the 1970s yielded nothing of value in the field of education. The time, care and consideration modelled in the Campbell report are something we should admire. We should take the time to conduct a proper examination of education and training in the ACT. Failing that, we should be reluctant to interfere in the product of careful development. So I commend the bill to the Assembly. This is an invitation for the government to allow some civility to enter the current schools debate. This is an opportunity for the government to stop, to listen and to accord people fairness.

Debate (on motion by Mr Barr ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.34 to 2.30 pm.

Distinguished visitors

MR SPEAKER: I welcome to the chamber a delegation from Westminster, led by Mr Michael Clapham MP.

Questions without notice

Education-policy

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, in Towards 2020 you propose that the ACT government school system reintroduce years 7 to 12 high schools and you use, as justification, the purported findings of the review of government secondary colleges. At the meeting at Campbell high school recently you had the temerity to quote from the review report in support of the government's position. However, even a cursory reading of the report shows that there is no support by the reviewers for the 7 to 12 model in ACT colleges. I quote:

The review found that the essential integrity of the current model of separate provision for years 11 and 12 should be maintained ... there is no compelling evidence that effectiveness would be increased to any extent that would justify a new structure, or the effort and cost associated with it. Investment in any other model would constitute a significant distraction from current and emerging imperatives.

That was from pages 9 to 10 of the review report. Minister, why have you misused and misquoted the findings of the research which your government commissioned?

MR BARR: Firstly, I did not misquote the review. The section that I read did contain a series of statements from the reviewers that there were some difficulties and some problems with the college model and that it did not meet the needs of all students. The government is not in its 2020 proposal seeking as an option to remove the college system from our education system. In fact, we are seeking to strengthen our college model. But we are also proposing that there be a degree of choice within our education system.

One of the factors that has become clear in relation to the drift from public education to the private system is the lack of alternatives within the government system, that we have


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