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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 3 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 866..


MR BARR (continuing):

solution. Ultimately, we will eliminate violence and bullying in our schools when we eliminate violence and bullying in our society. Schools can play a very, very important leadership role, and they do. They continue to do amazing work to address some major societal issues. For those opposite to continue this campaign against public schools is despicable, and it reflects on their character and the sorts of things that they consider are important in the public debate. For Mr Pratt to continue this line of questioning and suggest there was some sort of cover-up over the incident he has referred to is disgraceful.

Schools—enrolments

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, an objective of your government's Towards 2020 program was to arrest the exodus of students away from the government school sector to the non-government sector. Since 2004, government school enrolments have declined by 1,564 students, 3.9 per cent, whereas enrolments in non-government schools have increased by 1,217 students, five per cent. This trend has continued despite the government's 2020 policy. Chief Minister, why have your government's school policies failed?

MR STANHOPE: Our school policies quite clearly have not failed. The ACT government education system continues to deliver the best outcomes of any school system in Australia. Indeed, when you disaggregate and remove ACT school results from those for the rest of Australia, we are the only place in Australia that competes with the leading nations of the world.

It is a matter of enormous credit to the ACT public education system—and the non-government sector—that when you remove ACT school education results across the board from the national average and look at them in toto, they compete with the best nations in the world. We are there in the top five schools in literacy and numeracy

Mr Smyth: So what about the exodus?

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please. What is the point of order?

Mrs Dunne: Mr Smyth's question was about the move of children from the government school system to the non-government school system. Mr Stanhope is talking about the performance of the school system in general. He should get back to the question, which is about why people are moving from the government school system to the non-government school system and why his policy has failed.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne—

Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: I want to deal with something first. Mrs Dunne, I think that you attempt to verbal me. Mr Smyth's question was about whether the 2020 plan had failed. The Chief Minister is on song.


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