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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1980 ..


MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.06): I move:

Omit all words after “This Assembly notes: (1) that:” and substitute:

“(a) between 2017 and 2018 the ACT Education Directorate undertook a systematic and community-led review of the education system in the ACT engaging with over 5 000 people including teachers, students, academics, and community-sector leaders; and

(b) this review concluded in the publication of the Future of Education Strategy which outlines a plan for ACT public education from 2018-2028;

(2) further notes that:

(a) there have been a series of inquiries into the ACT education system over the last five years, including:

(i) the current Standing Committee on Education and Community Inclusion’s inquiry into the management of school infrastructure;

(ii) the Ninth Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs’ inquiry into Standardised Testing in ACT Schools; and

(iii) the Ninth Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs’ inquiry into the management and minimisation of bullying and violence in ACT schools; and

(b) these reviews have provided a series of recommendations to which the ACT Government has responded;

(3) the hard working and dedicated ACT Government school teachers, support and administrative staff who are passionate about achieving the best outcomes for ACT students; and

(4) calls on the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs to update the Assembly on the Government’s progress on implementing the agreed upon recommendations of the Ninth Assembly Standing Committee inquiries into standardised testing and bullying and violence at the next sitting of the Assembly in August 2021.”

In my inaugural speech in this Assembly just eight months ago, I committed myself to being this Assembly’s strongest advocate for public schools, their teachers, their families and their communities. Based on that commitment, I cannot support Mr Hanson’s motion as it stands. Despite the grandstanding, the motion speaks to none of the key systemic issues that our school systems face—the inequity in federal government funding for public schools, nationwide teacher shortages, and the destructive nature of NAPLAN. It is of the utmost importance that our schools are equitable and that our students are provided with opportunities to develop, practise and express critical thinking and life skills.

I am motivated in my work by the same parental concerns as Mr Hanson. Nothing matters more to a parent than their child and ensuring that their child gets the best education. I understand and I appreciate that Canberra parents know that their children should have access to the same high quality world-class education that other children


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