Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3161 ..
Another way to think about this achievement is to look at teacher-student ratios. In ACT public primary schools there is now one teacher for every 14 children. This ratio is amongst the best in the country. We are delivering new ways to teach and learn. We have 10 ACT schools trialling the national curriculum this year. Virtual learning environments and a $7.5 million investment in new technology are being rolled out across the territory. It is a strong record of achievement.
I believe the ACT is now the benchmark in Australia for investment in education, in teaching, in classrooms and in new technology. These investments have returned dividends—we lead the country in reading; we lead the country in teaching our students about new technologies. If there were a measurement for teacher performance, I think we would lead that as well.
But my firm rule of policy is this: no investment without reform. After a year of investment, let me turn to our plans for the future—that is, our investments in the 2010-11 budget. We have listened to parents and we are investing in and delivering new schools where they are needed most. We are listening to teachers and investing in teacher quality and delivering new approaches to school-based management. We are listening to and supporting students, supporting students with a disability, delivering training packages, improving students swimming and survival skills and making school car parks safer for students.
Building new schools where they are needed most is important. This budget invests $1.95 million over two years for the forward design of the Molonglo primary school. This initiative will provide facilities for preschool to year 6 students in the new suburbs of Coombs and Wright. The new school will open in 2014 and will have early intervention and autism programs.
The budget also provides $1.4 million over two years for the forward design of the Franklin early childhood school. The school will provide services for children from birth to eight years of age residing in Franklin and surrounding areas of Gungahlin. Like our other four early childhood schools, Franklin will include childcare, community meeting areas, local recreation facilities, school-aged care programs and children’s health programs. Opening in 2013, it is planned that this new school will have a 100-place childcare centre and be able to accommodate 300 preschool to year 2 students.
The 2010-11 budget provides $1.8 million over two years for the forward design of the Bonner primary school. This school will cater for students within developing areas of Bonner and Forde and will open in 2013. All of these new schools will seek to achieve a five-star green rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.
The ACT government has also provided $5.3 million over two years for the Red Hill primary school upgrade. This budget initiative will build new classrooms and allow the French-Australian preschool to remain at its current location. New schools and new classrooms where they are needed most.
All the evidence tells us that teacher quality is the magic ingredient in improving student outcomes. That is why the budget invests $3.9 million over four years in the