Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 668 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Interestingly some of the new areas do not have the same density of government school sites as in older parts of Canberra.

On the issue of educational quality, Mr Lee agrees with the Primary Principals Association's observation of "the need to provide additional per capita expenditure to small schools in order to seek equitable outcomes for students in those schools". The Primary Principals Association sees this as a dilution of the fixed educational pie. He goes on:

From the AEU point of view, we know that our members report that in striving for quality outcomes the workload for teachers in small schools is harder than in larger schools. Playground duty, curriculum development, system responsibilities are all spread amongst fewer people.

Mr Lee also states:

... we know that the amalgamations of the past have been very successful.

He ends his article by writing:

If the education and social needs of all children can be met (even enhanced) on a lesser number of sites, safely and with demonstrable savings, then school amalgamations are an acceptable way to free up resources to meet a plethora of unmet needs which exist right across the Territory.

Mr Hird, it certainly seems that the AEU, at the very least, believes that the issue of school amalgamations should be placed firmly on the agenda. I regard that as a very important contribution to the debate that is starting to occur now in our community, especially in our educational community.

MR HIRD: I have a supplementary question. Minister, from what you have just said, the union and the Primary Principals Association have indicated their support for school amalgamations and the Government has indicated that a rationalisation of school sites must be considered. Where is the opposition coming from?

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is this within the Minister's area of responsibility? I would argue that it is not.

MR SPEAKER: I am not sure whether Mr Hird's question was regarding a large "O" Opposition or a small "o" opposition. If it is the latter, then I think it is perfectly in order for the Minister to answer. I must say that if Mr Stefaniak starts dealing with the official Opposition of the Assembly, I would have to uphold your point of order; but I am sure that Mr Stefaniak appreciates that.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .