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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1431 ..

Boys education

MR CORBELL: Mr Cornwell asked me a question yesterday in relation to the ACT consultancy into improving the educational outcomes of boys. I am happy to provide the following information for Mr Cornwell. AJ Martin Research Pty Ltd was the successful tenderer for the Department of Education and Community Services consultancy project Improving the Educational Outcome of Boys in the ACT. The terms of reference for this project are: (1) to research the current practices and issues in the area of the education of boys; (2) to provide an analysis of what is currently happening in the ACT in regard to the education of boys; (3) to provide an analysis of ACT government schools data relevant to the educational outcomes of boys education; and (4) to produce a report on strategies for ongoing improvement of education outcomes for boys with regard to levels of schooling, retention and ways to improve their engagement with learning, and literacy and numeracy outcomes.

Dr Martin was originally due to report at the end of last year. That time frame has been extended to allow Dr Martin's research proposal to be implemented in full. He is using survey and ACT assessment program data to inform a qualitative process involving student interviews. Dr Martin is now expected to report mid-2002. Total funding available for this project is not expected to exceed $20,000.

Dr Andrew Martin has completed the first phase of the consultancy, which involves:

a review of literature to provide a conceptual background to the issue;

an analysis of ACT assessment program data for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9;

administration of the student motivation scale, developed by Dr Martin, to 1,930 Year 7 and Year 9 students from eight government high schools in December 2001.

Phase 2 of the project includes the following work:

two ACT high schools are to form the case study component of the project;

several key education researchers are to be interviewed along with students and teachers. It has been recommended that this also include the ACT Parents and Citizens Council and the Australian Education Union, ACT branch.

The outcomes of this research will inform the ACT response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training inquiry into the education of boys. When the House of Representatives was dissolved prior to last year's federal election, its committees ceased to exist and the education of boys inquiry lapsed. A new standing committee has since been established and appointed, and new federal minister, Dr Brendan Nelson, has asked the committee to continue and complete the inquiry into the education of boys. The ACT has been invited to add or update information in the territory's earlier submission.

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