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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5291 ..

MR BARR: It is disappointing that those opposite, who allegedly believe in some freeing up of the labour market, are seemingly so opposed to this reform agenda. It is important work, it is work that this government believes is critical to raising the status of the teaching profession, and we intend to work diligently to achieve this important reform for the teaching profession in the ACT.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?

MR DOSZPOT: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, in the spirit of the celebrations, how will your proposed changes to the school system pay respect to the efforts of teachers in an increasingly complex, multicultural and technological society?

MR BARR: Through investment in information and communication technology, through the ACT public education system having an ICT system that is the envy of the world and through investment in teacher quality—through the establishment of the ACT Teacher Quality Institute. Through the work, at a national level, of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, we are embarking, along with other jurisdictions in Australia, on a significant reform for the teaching profession.

We all agree—all Australian governments agree—that reform is needed to raise the status of the teaching profession. We as education ministers, through the ministerial council for education, are embarking on a significant reform project. We want to raise the status of the profession and we want to ensure that the best and brightest teachers can be rewarded for their efforts and have a clear career structure that enables them to progress higher than the current flat structure does. This is important work, Mr Speaker, and one would hope that people of goodwill who do not want to politicise the education system would support this.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Minister, will the government be organising any special events to honour the contributions made by teachers to the ACT community on International Teachers Day?

MR BARR: Yes, the department does recognise this important day. It is normally the case that there is a message published through media within the territory. I will, of course, be attending a number of schools tomorrow in relation to some important events for those schools.

Mr Hanson: Photo opportunities.

MR BARR: Mr Hanson, there may well be media interest in the day tomorrow and I am sure that the questions that you have raised today might spark a little bit more interest. That would be a good thing. One would hope that through the good work of ACT teachers that tomorrow will attract a high level of media and community interest and we can look forward to a very good day.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

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