Page 914 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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MR ACTING SPEAKER: Members, if we can allow the minister to complete the answer.

Ms Lee: If she actually got to the point, we would.

MS BERRY: It is really—the snide comments from Ms Lee are really unhelpful today.

Ms Lee: I am just repeating it because you seem to not understand—

MR ACTING SPEAKER: Ms Lee, we have had enough.

MS BERRY: Thank you, Mr Acting Speaker. It is important to note that the RiskMan incidents are reported across all categories, not just these sorts of critical incidents that we have been talking about this week. They also include everything from low-level incidents, minor cuts, abrasions, falls and other minor risks. Lower level incidents form a significant component of the incidents recorded. That was also recorded in the paper, in the article that Ms Lee was referring to.

MS LEE: Minister, how can you keep claiming that you are keeping teachers safe when there have been 1,600 incidents of violence in the last quarter, 71 per cent of them being for assault?

MS BERRY: As I have explained, these are not incidents like the one that we have been talking about this week. These are a range of incidents, they range from areas like skinned knees, trips and falls and other minor incidents, including more serious assaults, which have been included in RiskMan. What we do, as the Education Directorate and within the government, is encourage people to report incidents. Often the same incidents will be reported by a number of teachers and school staff through the RiskMan reporting. We encourage that so that we can understand the incidents that are occurring in our schools and so, if there are issues where they need additional support, we can put those supports in place.

MR HANSON: Minister, how can you say that many of these incidents were minor when 71 per cent of the incidents related to assault?

MS BERRY: I did not say what Mr Hanson said.


MR HANSON: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, since WorkSafe ACT placed a prohibition on Calwell High School for being unsafe, you have stated repeatedly that those types of incidents were “very rare”. Last year the Australian Education Union’s report stated:

The staffing shortage also has direct consequences for work safety in schools … Almost one in five respondents have experienced violence in the classroom as a direct consequence of split or cancelled classes.

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