Page 1872 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022

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Other changes include the following recognition:

… the majority of non-government schools already consistently deliver high quality educational services and are compliant with their legislative requirements and reduce the administrative burden for non-government schools.

Therefore, the proposal is to move away from a five-year registration system, instead moving to ongoing, risk-based review cycles that provide a flexible, responsive ability to monitor and improve as issues arise.

I will move now to the amendments, because my understanding is that they will be moved as a whole, so I am very happy to speak to them in the in-principle stage, in the interests of time. I acknowledge that this is a very technical bill that has directly impacted a range of groups. Both the government and the Canberra Liberals have undertaken wide consultation.

In response to stakeholder feedback, the government intends moving a series of amendments to include comments from stakeholders on the tabled bill. I welcome these amendments. As I said, we will be supporting all of those amendments. There are some remaining concerns from stakeholders. I will quote from a stakeholder group that sums up their position—and, to be honest, ours and, I think it is reasonable to say, that of everybody—and that is from the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations. It states:

Council welcomes the amendments being proposed because of the protections they offer to students, especially those with disabilities or different learning needs.

The effectiveness of the legislative changes, however, will be reliant upon the policies which flow from the act, and their implementation.

Council looks forward to continuing to have input into the development of policies and procedures which arise from the amendments, along with other stakeholders.

Council recognises the range of parent views in the area of suspensions and exclusions. Parents are keen for measures which reduce classroom disruption, and some see suspensions as an important tool.

Council notes that for all students to be given the support they need, significant investment in specific teacher professional learning is needed. We trust all members of the Legislative Assembly would support the provision of such an investment.

I would also like to put on the record a particular concern from the Association of Independent Schools which remains outstanding. It relates to clause 64, proposed new standard 2.5(2). The association said:

Our strong preference is for the word “consulted” to be changed to “informed”.

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