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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1140 ..

Schools and preschools-maintenance of sandpits

(Question No 100)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 5 March 2002:

In relation to maintenance of school and preschool sandpits:

(1) How often is sand replaced in sandpits.

(2) What maintenance is carried out to ensure that the sand is clean.

(3) How often is routine maintenance performed and what does it entail.

(4) How is maintenance monitored to ensure that it is carried out effectively.

Mr Corbell: The answer to Mrs Dunne's question is:

(1) In preschools, inspection of sandpits is undertaken monthly by the appointed maintenance contractor. Sand is topped up and/or replaced as necessary, any foreign objects are removed and any other necessary maintenance to sandpit surrounds is carried out. In addition to this, the preschool teacher-in-charge inspects their preschool sandpit daily and any maintenance required is reported to the department. For those primary schools that have sandpits (around 15), the school is responsible for topping up the sand and maintaining the sandpit surrounds as part of their overall grounds maintenance responsibilities.

(2) In preschools the teacher-in-charge is responsible to cover and rake the sandpit daily. At primary schools daily inspection of the sandpit takes place, usually by the janitor. The schools grounds maintenance contractor would usually attend to any maintenance works required.

(3) This is covered in points (1) and (2) above.

(4) For preschools, the maintenance contractor provides a monthly report to the department on works and inspections performed. In addition to this the preschool teacher-in-charge reports any problems to the department. For schools, monitoring is undertaken by school staff who are in a good position to directly follow up any problems with the principal or contractors.

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