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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5290 ..


As I indicated in my answer to a question yesterday about the compelling need for reform within the ACT education system, and most particularly to address concerns raised by the AEU itself about our capacity to attract and retain quality teachers, I think it is clear that there is agreement on the problem. What is clear is that there is a need for further discussion on the best possible solutions. I have put forward some proposals; we will be discussing them through the course of our enterprise bargaining negotiations in the first half of 2011. I do not resile from the importance of tackling these issues.

Members interjecting—

MR BARR: In the data that I read out yesterday, and advised the Assembly of yesterday, teachers across Australia think that their performance evaluation systems are broken, that they do not get due recognition for improving the quality of their teaching and that we need a new system.

Members interjecting—

MR BARR: We need to ensure that the best and brightest classroom teachers are able to advance more quickly and that we do something to address the very flat career structure that is currently in place for ACT teachers. That, I think, is fundamental to achieving a rise in the status of the teaching profession. And that, I think, is something that there is agreement on.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! There is too much interjecting while the minister is answering the question. I ask you to refrain.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I was saying, those opposite ask the questions but they do not appear to be very interested at all in hearing the answers.

Mr Smyth: We are always interested; it is just that you are laughable.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, you are now warned for interjecting. I just asked you to keep the noise down.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The point I am making is that if we do not have fundamental structural reform, we will not raise the status of the teaching profession; we will not be able to attract and retain the best teachers in the ACT. That does mean change, and some people do not like change. That is very clear. But we need to move beyond the 1970s-style industrial relations arrangements that apply to teachers in the ACT at the moment and move to a model that is more in line with public sector arrangements in other areas of the ACT government that are in operation now in 2010.

Mr Hanson: Imagine how you lot would squeal if we tried to do something like this.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, you are now warned for interjecting.


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