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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1767 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

500 parents who had children in government schools were rung by a professional organisation, Roy Morgan Research, and were asked a series of questions. They were asked to make comments on what they wanted to see and what improved reporting they wanted. Also, 138 written consultation pieces were received, and I will come to the results of those later. These sorts of things improve accountability. Accountability starts with the classroom teacher to make sure that what they are teaching hits the spot with the kids. We need to know whether some of those kids need more help, the teacher need assistance to improve, the teacher needs someone to come in to further assist those kids, the school is doing it right, the school needs further assistance, the department is getting it right, the government is getting it right in supervising the department or the Assembly is getting it right in supervising the government. All of those things are very important and that is exactly what we did last year.

I note that Mr Berry has had this motion on the table since 5 September. At that stage it was a general motion relating to league tables. Quite frankly, when I looked at the motion then I thought that I had a fair bit of sympathy with it and that the government could support it. But on 1 May he came in-maybe it has something to do with the Feedback article that he referred to-with a revised motion opposing the government's decision to report to parents school averages on literacy and numeracy tests because it will lead to the publication of school league tables.

I would say "rubbish" to the second part of that. In fact, as a result of an extensive consultation period, we have taken steps to ensure it does not do that, because a straight league table which says school A is ranked three, school B is ranked six, may well be somewhat misleading. That is not what this is about.

But the government certainly has decided to report to parents the school averages of literacy and numeracy testing. It has certainly decided to show parents, because they want it, exactly where the child sits in terms of the child's cohort at that school; where the child sits in terms of the ACT system average for that particular strand of literacy and numeracy; and where the school sits in terms of the average for the system. That is what parents want. Five hundred parents were phoned and gave detailed responses in relation to that.

Mr Smyth: What was the result?

MR STEFANIAK: The result was about 76 per cent. I will come to that. I think I have tabled the report on literacy and numeracy outcomes, but I will do so again for the benefit of members.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, all government school children in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are now assessed in literacy and numeracy, and parents, schools and students have received a special report on that.

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

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