Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 August 2008) . . Page.. 3345 ..
MR BARR: I can advise the Assembly that a full EIS has been called and will be conducted using the statutory processes.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Pratt?
MR PRATT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, will you table in the Assembly the time frame of reference agreed upon for the EIS by close of business today? If not, when? If you do not intend to, why?
MR BARR: I have indicated in answer to Dr Foskey’s question that I am happy to table the further information that I have provided to the proponents in relation to the detailed aspects of the EIS, and I will do so later today.
MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Would the minister advise the Assembly of the results of the school movements survey released today and how these findings accord with the record and plans of the Stanhope Labor government.
MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her ongoing interest in the ACT’s education system. Today I had the opportunity to release the 2008 school movements survey, a survey that shows that ACT parents and carers prioritise quality in education when making decisions about where to send their children to school. The annual survey, conducted by the ACT Department of Education and Training, asked just over 700 parents and carers about the factors that they considered when moving their children between schools.
The survey indicates that Canberra parents and carers prioritise quality teaching, with 83 per cent citing quality of education as the main reason that they choose to move their children into an ACT public school. As we know—at least, as those on this side of the chamber know—research shows that the single most important factor in the quality of a child’s education is the quality of the teacher in front of them in the classroom. Because of the Stanhope government’s work to date to raise the status of the profession, ACT students are already taught by the best teachers in Australia. This is reflected in the literacy and numeracy results of our students.
To ensure that our education system remains the best in Australia, the ACT needs a financially responsible government with a focus on improving the quality of our education system. The government is investing, and will continue to invest, heavily in the training and development of our teaching workforce. In the last budget alone, we committed more than $2 million to providing extra training for our teachers.
The budget also contained almost $1 million for specialist literacy and numeracy coordinators to work in our public schools. The government will provide extra funding to help teachers to teach socioeconomically disadvantaged students, to help them to receive the support they need to improve their outcomes. We have provided a further $421,000 to enhance professional development for teachers in leadership positions. This builds on the ongoing investments made by the government in quality teaching since 2001, including the establishment of a centre for teaching and learning in Stirling.