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Student Assessment

MR BERRY: My question is directed to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak, and it relates to his interference in the assessment system within our school system. Minister, given that your intervention in this matter has caused a crisis of confidence in the education system, will you tell us what new guidelines you have implemented for Year 12 assessments, or reassessments - whatever you like to call them? What new guidelines are you using in relation to assessments, or reassessments, within the education system? There are 40,000 students out there, Minister, who want to know. They want to know how they are going to be treated and whether their parents can ring you up and ask for an A grade.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, this is really quite ridiculous. Mr Berry, the guidelines continue. As I said, there was a matter in January which had some exceptional circumstances. This one did too. In terms of Year 12 assessments, the normal situation continues. I understand that the department has looked at a review of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies and what sort of procedures could operate. I have not seen the outcome yet. Certainly, whether a solicitor should be part of it is being looked at. But the guidelines continue. I stress that this was an exceptional case and that both the department’s advice to me and any actions I took recognised that.

MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question. In the exceptional circumstances, as the Minister has described them, was there a suggestion that video ought to be used for part of the reassessment, and could the Minister please outline why the old guidelines were not followed in this case? Would you please do it in detail and stop dodging the question?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, this matter is still ongoing. If this matter had finished I would be happy to take you through the whole thing because it would be a finalised matter. But there are privacy matters.

Mr Berry: What about the video? Did you want to use a video?

MR STEFANIAK: I have already indicated that when the department and I discussed this matter we took a number of situations into consideration. There were exceptional circumstances.

Mr Berry: What about the video?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, are you saying a video was actually taken? I understand that any question of it is fairly academic because - - -

Mr Berry: Did you direct it? Did you suggest it?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, we are getting to a situation where I think we might start really involving the privacy issues, and that is the problem. I know - - -

Mr Berry: You cannot keep this one private, mate. Tell us about the video.

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