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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1853..

MR HANSON (continuing):

This comparison confirmed the proposition that the ACT tends to be a low equity system. While the ACT ranked first on a number of band levels as having the highest proportion of students above the national minimum standard, this did not appear to translate into qualitatively different outcomes for underachieving students ...

Of particular concern is the poor ranking of the ACT in the percentage of students performing below the standard—

well below the standard—

in spelling across all year levels tested.

If you actually burrow down to the statistics, and I think NAPLAN provides some of this data as well, you will see that, when you compare people who are below the performance levels here in the ACT with like people in other jurisdictions, particularly Victoria and in some cases New South Wales, we are not doing as well. There is further work that can be done. The minister would also acknowledge that and I hope that he will take this in good faith. There has been a lot of work on and good contributions made to this report. I look forward to the government's response.

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

Report 4

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.05): I present the following report:

Education, Training and Youth Affairs—Standing Committee—Report 4—Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2008-2009, dated 29 April 2010, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

I will speak briefly to the report. The committee had three public hearings, on 1, 14 and 15 December. We heard from ministers, departmental officials and agencies and also members of governing boards. I will go to some of the key issues which came up and also some of the key recommendations.

One of the big issues that have come up over recent years is class sizes. This was an issue that was discussed by the committee. An update was sought from the minister on the progress towards implementing the government's policy on reduced average class sizes for every year level in public schools. The minister advised that an additional 70 teaching positions had been filled for the commencement of the school year. There were a number of discussions around the fact that research had suggested that class size was not always the most significant factor when it came to providing quality education.

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