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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (18 November) . .

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given that they are the people at the front line. But what I have said very clearly already, and what I am happy to restate in this place, is that this is not going to be a quick fix. It is not going to be an easy fix. The reason for that is that it is a deeply ingrained culture that dates back many decades and it is not going to be fixed in six weeks or three months. It simply is not. There is going to be a need for an enduring, ongoing engagement and conversation about appropriate behaviours between senior doctors and the junior doctors they train. That is the focus of the clinical culture committee and its responsibilities and accountability to me.

Schools—autism

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, in the Shaddock report released today it suggests that current guidelines do not help teachers recognise when self-directed calming spaces evolve over time to become an inappropriate form of seclusion. In light of that finding, do you believe that there should be a reconsideration of the treatment given to the principal at the centre of this issue earlier this year?

MS BURCH: My answer is no.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, do you believe the policy guidelines are adequate considering that Professor Shaddock does not?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. I remind Mr Doszpot of the questions that he put to Professor Shaddock when he had the opportunity at a 45-minute briefing this morning and the general responses from Professor Shaddock. As he said this morning and in his report, ACT schools have good policies and procedures in place, but they are dense and they are sometimes inaccessible. If a teacher—and he said this today at a press conference—is in the moment and needing a very quick frame in which to work, it is sometimes a bit hard to go into a website and find a very dense, multi-page policy.

It is very clear that we need to pull that out and make it simpler; to make it easier for students and parents and teachers alike to have a very clear understanding about the expectations around responses to challenging behaviours and complex needs of our students across our schools.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, what directions have you given your directorate to commence the redrafting of current guidelines?

MS BURCH: Education and Training—again, this is in the government's response—will say that they are already acting on a number of the recommendations. A lot of this work was already in place. There is a cycle of ongoing review and reconsideration across ETD and its policies. We will now look to this expert panel report and focus our attention on where some enhancements and where some strengthening of our approach can be put in place.


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