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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (31 May) . . Page.. 1366..

(3) What are the criteria by which its success will be judged;

(4) What is the rationale for reducing the number of hours of counselling is available to schools;

(5) What will the new teams, to which some counsellors have been appointed, do and how will they operate;

(6) What steps is the Government taking to ensure that new counsellors are available to replace those that retire;

(7) Has consideration been given to encouraging psychology graduates to become school counsellors by giving scholarships for diplomas in education.

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

(1) The Youth Support Workers in High Schools program is an ongoing budget initiative of this Government and will continue beyond June 2007.

(2) Refer to (1).

(3) The Department of Education and Training will draw feedback fro principals, teachers and students in relation to the value of the Youth Support Workers initiative. The focus will be on student engagement and learning, student wellbeing and school and community connectedness.

(4) There has been no reduction in counselling services to schools.

(5) A cluster model for counselling, special education and student management service delivery is being developed. This means that these services will be delivered in an integrated way across four regions of Canberra. To provide a more effective service, counsellor time is allocated in three ways:

  • a direct allocation to schools based on student population
  • a targeted allocation to schools based on identified need (students with special needs; Indigenous students; students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; indicators of social need; early intervention support, Care and Protection issues)
  • an allocation to cluster teams. Cluster teams provide a responsive service based on emerging needs of individual schools.

(6) The Department of Education and Training has taken a number of steps to recruit qualified school counsellors and to encourage qualified teachers to retrain as counsellors. This includes interstate advertising and recruiting teachers who would be interested in obtaining the necessary qualification in psychology to attain registration with the ACT Psychologist Board.

(7) See (6).

Disabled persons—car parking

(Question No 1543)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, upon notice, on 15 March 2007:

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