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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3661..

Ms Gallagher: The answer to Mr Pratt's question is:

The Board of Senior Secondary Studies recognises that students' literacy skills are developed across all subject areas. At the senior secondary level, English has a high literature appreciation focus, and while English is compulsory in some states, in others it is not. The ACT experience is that by giving students a wide subject choice, they generally have more interest in their selected subjects and hence are more likely to stay at school and complete year 12.

Education-indigenous students

(Question No 1706)

Mr Pratt

asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 1 July 2004:

(1) Further to the reply to part (2) of Question on notice No 1551 in which it was indicated that the mobility of the indigenous community makes it difficult to determine when students complete their schooling, is the Department of Education and Training doing anything to ensure we have a better system that tracks indigenous students; if not, why not; if so, what work is being undertaken;

(2) In relation to part (4) (c) of the reply to the question, how does the figure of indigenous students compare to the actual number of indigenous students in the A.C.T. in that year;

(3) Is this a high number of indigenous students to be suspended and what is the Department of Education and Training doing to reduce the incidence of indigenous students being suspended.

Ms Gallagher

: The answer to Mr Pratt's question is:

(1) Work is being undertaken in this area. An Indigenous Students Transitions' Officer was appointed in 2003. This position is responsible for tracking Indigenous students and over time to ensuring Indigenous students achieve successful transition between years 10 and 11, between year 10 and further education/employment, and between year 12 and further education/employment. The process involves direct contact with the students and in so doing the Transitions Officer works closely with the department's Indigenous Home/School Liaison Officers.

(2) A total of 855 Indigenous students were enrolled in years K-12 in 2003. Of these, 109 students were suspended, representing 12.7% of the cohort.

(3) The department is concerned about the number of Indigenous students who were suspended and will undertake an analysis of the reasons given by schools for suspending Indigenous students. The results of the analysis will be used to develop strategies to address this issue.

Education-school based management

(Question No 1707)

Mr Pratt

asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 1 July 2004:

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