Page 796 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

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These are the sorts of investments you would expect to see at a school that may have identified some concerning issues. Whilst clearly there are still challenges at Calwell High, as the recent events have demonstrated, there have also been a range of improvements observed at the school since 2020. Enrolments at the school have increased over the past three years, from 380 in 2019 to 420 in 2022. We have seen NAPLAN growth across reading, writing and numeracy from 2019 to 2021. School satisfaction data in regard to school leadership indicates results the same as similar school types, and we have seen fewer school lockdowns resulting from student behaviour concerns.

There are a range of other indicators which make it clear to me that the efforts being made by the directorate, with the support of the minister, cannot simply be cast aside. These are material investments and material and objective measures of improvement. That said, we have seen that, obviously, there have been a set of disturbing incidents in recent weeks. The minister has indicated some of her responses to that. Again, from the information I have sought, we know that the government is making deliberate efforts to intervene and to improve the situation.

A directorate coordination team has been established to respond to the events at Calwell High School. It will oversee the following four streams of work: school supports and operational continuity, which will undertake operations at the school this week in line with the WorkSafe order, ensuring a focus on support for the wellbeing of staff and students; there will be a response to the regulator to the concerns identified in the prohibition order, with the intention to progress to a supportive resumption of normal school operations in a safe and orderly way; there is industrial engagement to ensure liaison and engagement with the Education Union and the CPSU, both at the local sub-branch level through to the ACT executive; and the fourth stream is communication and management to coordinate the communications material and messaging to support the school and the school community.

Once support for the wellbeing of staff and students and operational continuity of learning is in place, a review of the school support plan will be undertaken. This will occur ready for implementation in term 2 this year, with particular focus on the following key areas: school leadership structure, cohesion and role clarity to implement the next steps; strengthening the safe and supportive schools and PBL implementation on site; strengthening the pedagogical support and engagement of students in learning across all learning areas; and an assessment of the work health and safety processes at the site of the school. The flow of supports from the education support office will also be undertaken, and this will include incident reporting, RiskMan reporting and wellbeing supports.

What we see here is a range of medium-term engagements, which I have detailed, since 2020, as well as additional supports added in light of the recent incidents. This, to me, indicates that you cannot make a case that the challenges of Calwell High School are being ignored and you cannot say that this minister is not paying attention. Clearly, between the minister and the directorate, significant effort is being made and I cannot—

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