Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2587..
MR BARR (continuing):
Indigenous Education—Performance in Indigenous Education—Annual report 2008.
I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.
MR BARR: I am pleased to present to the Assembly the performance report on Indigenous education for the 2008 calendar year. Each year a half-yearly report and a more comprehensive annual report covering achievements in the calendar year are submitted around this time. Today the report I present to the Assembly covers the period January to December 2008.
2008 saw the continued implementation of a number of ACT government budget initiatives. These included the Koori preschool program operating in five sites across Canberra and reporting a total enrolment of 119 Indigenous students after the August 2008 census. The report I am presenting today shows the Koori preschool program continues to provide enhanced opportunities for Indigenous children to participate in early childhood education.
2008 was the first year of the national assessment program in literacy and numeracy, NAPLAN. The results for Indigenous students on NAPLAN will be used to develop strategies to track the performance of Indigenous students over time and to inform appropriate allocation of resources needed to assist Indigenous students with their learning.
Public schools in the ACT continued to build on the success they have experienced in engaging families of Indigenous students at the time of the national apology to the stolen generations by continuing to discuss what can be done to improve or enhance Indigenous education at the local level. In July 2008, three clusters of schools began working on building relationships with Indigenous communities. That number increased to six by the end of the school year. I am pleased to report that at the end of 2008 a total of 78 public schools in the ACT were members of the dare to lead program. This figure represents 94 per cent of all public schools in the territory, an increase of eight schools since 2007.
In 2008 the Department of Education and Training designed a program of professional development in Indigenous education to be delivered to all public school principals and deputy principals in the territory. The program was officially launched in July 2008 with a theme of "accepting the challenge, improving learning outcomes, of Indigenous students". I advise the Assembly that a total of 178 educational leaders participated in the first year of this professional learning program.
Following on from this program, schools incorporated a research strategy to begin compiling evidence about what is working successfully to improve learning outcomes for Indigenous students. The professional learning program is continuing in 2009.
Throughout 2008, the Department of Education and Training participated with the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services and the Department of