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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (22 September) . .

Page.. 3319..


MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Doszpot! You have asked the question. Let the minister answer the question. Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: I have nothing else to add.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, are you aware of any other instances where students in ACT public schools have been let down in such a similar fashion?

MS BURCH: This incident—this structure and this school—was no doubt an absolute failing; it was no doubt a failing. A principal made decisions. She did not take advice from the experts that were around her. She made a decision that was clearly and absolutely flawed. There is no question about that. I will read from a letter to the Canberra Times this morning headed "School moving on":

As a parent of the affected school community and representative of the parent body, it shocks and saddens me to continue to read opinions based on personal agendas. Regardless of an individual's motivations, one needs to acknowledge that a school's primary focus must always be the education and care of its students.

Our school community has navigated through the division and difficulty of a highly complex issue. Whilst we all recognise the important role of transparency, it must not come at the expense of an individual's right to privacy.

Our parent representatives, and the school's board and executive have worked together to ensure the primary focus of our school remains the teaching, learning and care of every student, every day.

Words cannot express the deep gratitude felt for the unwavering dedication and commitment school staff have shown to our children at this time. We have focused all our efforts on the education and care of our children. It is this focus that has driven our school community to continue to function like any other Canberra public school throughout this challenging period. With the inappropriate structure investigation finalised, it is now time for our community to heal and move forward. The continued media-seeking behaviour of a self-serving minority and the ongoing political witch-hunt is achieving nothing other than further aggravation among our school community. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, did you or your office see a draft or interim report by the investigator?

MS BURCH: I certainly did not, no.

Schools—autism

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, who decided which parts of the report into the cage structure inquiry were made public?


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