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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 May 2021) . . Page.. 1258 ..


MS BERRY: It is lucky I have some issues with hearing today, Madam Speaker, because I cannot hear very much of the interjections. I will take your point, Madam Speaker, and I will ignore—

Mr Parton: We’ll go louder then.

MADAM SPEAKER: No, you will not, Mr Parton.

MS BERRY: I will have to depend on your super mum’s ears, Madam Speaker, to call the others to attention on this, but I would say that that is the message that I am providing to students, parents and teachers as well.

This is an interference for teachers in the everyday education of our students. It does mean that it puts some pressure on them, making sure that students and young people are not feeling the level of anxiety that unfortunately sometimes the palaver and the circus that occurs around NAPLAN results provide. That calm settled environment that is provided by teachers during this process is important.

Young people need to know that this is a point-in-time test. It does provide some data which is a useful tool for teachers to include in their kit, but it is only one tool. Teachers know best the educational experiences of students and the different kinds of supports that they need. My message to parents is always: if you want to understand better or have more supports for your child, student or young person in our schools, please go and speak to your teaching professionals; they are the ones who know your young person the best.

Education—schools performance

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. In 2018 the Grattan Institute released a report titled “Measuring Student Progress: a state-by state report card”. The report found:

The ACT is the worst performer. On a like-for-like basis, its students make two to three months less progress than the national average in both primary and secondary school.

Minister, are ACT school students falling behind students interstate?

MS BERRY: What I would say to our school communities across the ACT is not to pay very much attention to the question that Mrs Jones was asking. PISA, in fact, shows that our schools are performing very well compared to other schools in the country. If comparisons are going to be made across jurisdictions and schools, they are not accurate because of the unique features of our city and our school system. And that is the point that I was trying to make in response to the question the Leader of the Opposition was asking. Our schools are excellent; our schools provide a great education.

Mr Hanson interjecting—


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