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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4097 ..


MS BERRY: As I said, the data in the report is two years old and the ACT Education Directorate schools have already been implementing a whole lot of the work that has been recommended through that recent report, keeping in mind that it gives a very narrow picture of what is happening in our schools. There is a considerable amount of work that is happening across our school system to improve education outcomes for children.

What we have seen, and on the advice of researchers, professionals and well-recognised academics like Mr Gonski in his Gonski 2.0, is: when you address equity in a school system every child will achieve excellence. And that is what we are doing here in the ACT, because this is what a government which is progressive and wants to ensure that there are equitable outcomes for every person, regardless of their background, in our schools does. The recommendations that have been provided in the report complement the work that the ACT government is already doing.

Of course we happily listen to the advice of academics but we have also been having a very big conversation with the ACT community about the future of education and what our students, parents and teachers want from their school system, and that has also been backed up by all the experts that I have just referred to across the nation and across the world.

ACTION bus service—school services

MISS C BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Transport. Minister, on the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 October, due to an accident on Tillyard Drive, the 625 school bus from Melba Copland Secondary School was required to make diversions and to drop students off at locations other than their normal stops. Minister, one of the affected students was a 12-year-old boy who was dropped off two kilometres from his normal stop in unfamiliar surrounds. What processes and procedures are in place to ensure students' safety in such circumstances?

MS FITZHARRIS: Quite significant policies and procedures are in place. I am not aware of that incident; this is the first I have heard about that and I am certainly not familiar with the experience of that particular 12-year-old boy. I will take the question on notice. It would seem to me that that is not usual practice. If Miss Burch can provide further information, I would welcome that, and I will follow it up.

MISS C BURCH: Minister, what additional processes and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of young students with special needs when school buses are required to make diversions or drop them off somewhere other than their regular stop?

MS FITZHARRIS: I will take the question on notice but I also note that if there are children with special needs travelling on a dedicated school bus or on other buses, that would be quite different from those who are dropped door to door on special needs buses that also transport children around the territory. If further information can be provided, I can provide a fuller answer.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, were procedures and processes followed in this particular case?


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