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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (23 May) . . Page.. 1699 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

for reporting data to parents and the Government; arrangements for parents to make a choice to be included; appropriate use of the data, taking into account privacy considerations; and establishing the relationship between reporting student outcomes and the social objectives of schooling.

In terms of timetable, Mr Speaker, we propose to establish the reference group immediately, so that the process can get under way. This means that in 1997 the first ACT-wide information about our primary school students' literacy and numeracy skills will be collected. This will be followed in 1998 by high school data. The data will then be collated and presented to parents and the ACT community.

Mr Speaker, I commend this initiative to the Assembly. Its benefits in giving us the opportunity to raise literacy and numeracy standards are obvious - benefits to the Territory's students, to their parents, and ultimately to the community in general. The ACT will then, Mr Speaker, like all other Australian States and Territories, have access to system-wide student outcomes data. We will have a much better idea of our children's literacy and numeracy skills. We should be in a better position to target resources accurately. We should have much higher levels of confidence that our schools are achieving great things in the vitally important task of educating our young people. Mr Speaker, I present a copy of the statement and move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Ms McRae) adjourned.

Suspension of Standing Orders

MS TUCKER (3.56): I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent notice No. 17, private members business, relating to recommendation 8 of the Report of the Select Committee on Competition Policy Reform, being called on forthwith.

I did speak on this matter yesterday, so I will just briefly urge members to consider suspending standing orders at this point, because there is a very important motion that we need to discuss.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.57): Mr Speaker, I can see that the issue is one that we need to consider. I am not going to oppose the motion, but I have to say that I really wonder why this could not have waited until next Wednesday's private members business. It is on the private members business program. It could have been dealt with at that stage. I do not understand why it has been dealt with, with such breakneck speed, today.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

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