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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 May 1993) . . Page.. 1602 ..


Mr Kaine: What are you going to do with the library that is moving in?

MR WOOD: Mr Kaine asks about the library. After consultation with the P and C of that school, Mr Connolly and I agreed that the Kingston library could relocate to some part of Griffith Primary School. Very carefully, we have left aside more than sufficient area, should that school be reopened. Let me emphasise that we did that in consultation with that community. We did not take that decision just between ourselves; we went back to the P and C. That is a very strong part of my answer to Ms Szuty. We talk to the community. Ms Follett has already demonstrated the way that the Liberals do not do that. When Mr Humphries made his announcement about schools, he would not consult; he would only provide the criteria on which he would pick out schools for closure. The contrast is stark.

Basically, beyond that consultation and of primary importance, we maintain high-quality schools. They are well staffed, they are well looked after, they are in good buildings, and students are keen and happy to attend. We also have an administrative structure that supports the staff. That has been reviewed recently. We have very competent people who keep in close contact with schools and their principals and their communities to iron out any problems should they emerge. For example, as an additional measure, we have the SPRAD process, a school evaluation process. It is no surprise to us, but it may be to the Liberals opposite, that that is done absolutely, totally, in consultation with the community.

A final factor that is very important to Ms Szuty's question is that our schools, since the establishment of the system in 1974, have been based on community participation. Our schools are run with and for the community. The strong community involvement in the schools keeps everybody active and interested. The people are protective of the schools, as we are. I think that system has worked pretty well.

School Curriculum Review

MR CORNWELL: I was most interested to hear the Minister for Education's final comments about community participation. I also was interested to hear him saying that the arts community had said that his recent activities were a model of consultation. Mr Wood, would you mind telling me why no notice was given by the Government or the Department of Education of an intention to conduct a review of school based curriculum, as commented upon by the ACT Council of P and C Associations in their presumably unsolicited submission? I quote:

... P&C Council wishes to record its concern that neither the ACT Government nor the Department of Education has provided any notice of intention to conduct a review of school-based curriculum. There has not been, to our knowledge, any official statement on the purpose of the review and why it is being conducted in such a short period.

Some consultation!


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