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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 October 2018) . . Page.. 4096 ..

months less progress than the national average, and that it has progressively got worse over the past eight years. Do you still claim that it is the fault of NAPLAN data and not failures in the ACT education system that we have these results?

MS BERRY: I do not recall blaming NAPLAN data for the results in the ACT. So if you have read that somewhere and can quote me on that, then do; otherwise you should correct the record. How NAPLAN data is used, whether it benefits children in their education, is what I have asked consistently and publicly. That is why the ACT government is leading a review of whether NAPLAN data, how it is used on the My School website, how it is reported and how data is compared, is useful in an education or whether it is doing more harm than good. That is what I have said.

With regard to the Grattan Institute’s report, this is a very narrow picture—I think that that should be kept in mind—of what is actually happening in our schools. It also should be remembered that the data that has been used in this review is two years old now. It is from 2016. But the report does provide some good information and complements the work that the ACT is already doing in responding to the Auditor-General’s report and Professor Lamb’s recommendations as well as our future of education strategy, which was informed by over 5,000 conversations with the ACT community, including over 2,400 students, who will be most affected by an education in the ACT. Additionally the ACT government has announced that it aspires to extend early childhood education for four year-olds to three year-olds as well. This will all inform a better educational outcome for all of our children.

MR PARTON: Minister, do you still think that ANU researcher Andrew Macintosh, whose findings replicate those of the Grattan Institute, is wrong?

MS BERRY: Thank you Mr Parton. I think that some of the information that Macintosh used to analyse his data did not give a full picture. Mr Macintosh himself admitted that he is not an education expert.

I, on the other hand, have been listening to education experts and researchers—internationally renowned experts including Pasi Sahlberg from Finland, who is now with the University of New South Wales Gonski Institute, David Gonski himself, Professor John Hattie, Dr Chris Sarra, John Falzon, Christine Topfer from Tasmania, Tom Lowrey—ensuring that our school professionals are being provided with the most contemporary and up-to-date information to be able to provide the best possible education system in the ACT.

In addition to that, it has also been backed up through the conversations that I have been having with the ACT community about what they want to see in their schools in the ACT: an inclusive system that is equitable; one that gives every child the same chance regardless of their background to an equal education.

MS LEE: Minister, do you accept that there are issues with academic performance in the ACT and do you intend to take the Grattan Institute recommendations, which is at least the fifth report highlighting academic failures in the ACT, seriously?

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