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updates to examples throughout the act in order to assist in interpreting the entitlements. The bill continues the long tradition this government has in maintaining our protection of workers and is evidence of our continued commitment to delivering on the parliamentary and governing agreement. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Cain) adjourned to the next sitting.
Education Amendment Bill 2022
Debate resumed from 7 April 2022, on motion by Ms Berry:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.52): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill, as well as the government amendments to the bill. It is a significant, technical and complex bill. I will not go through every clause or amendment, but I will touch briefly on the broad areas, especially those that we have been discussing with stakeholders. The bill essentially makes amendments in two main areas under the Education Act 2004. The first area relates to suspensions, transfers, expulsions and exclusions of students. The second relates to the registration and review requirements for non-government schools.
Turning to the first main issue, that of suspension, transfer, expulsion and exclusion, it has caused considerable debate in the school parent community, the profession and amongst governments around the country. The challenge is about finding the balance between the ability of educators to apply sanctions such as suspensions and expulsion to students and the rights and obligations of the school sector—particularly the government sector—to provide education to all.
It is fair to say that, while the bill does not meet every issue of every group, it does make considerable headway in providing consistency and clarity across both government and non-government systems. I will touch briefly on those main issues.
The first is the student movement register. While the current system does track student movements, there is currently no specified time period for when this reporting must occur. This has led to inconsistent and infrequent reporting and is an area where more complete and more frequent monitoring will provide an early warning for children at risk. This risk and failing was identified in the tragic case of Bradyn Dillon. An improved system was a key finding of the coronial inquest.
Another area that needs clarity and consistency is that of suspensions. The proposed provisions relating to suspensions aim to provide clarity for all schools as to the reasons why a suspension can be enacted, and consistency across both government and non-government sectors in when, how and why a suspension may occur. For transfers, it is accepted that if a student encounters problems or is involved in problem instances themselves a transfer to a new government school does provide an opportunity for a fresh start. These amendment provisions provide a clearer path for that to be achieved.