Page 2725 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005
you want to stay in this house.” I am not going to do that. Mrs Burke is going to say, “Think twice before you take that promotion, my son, because if you take that promotion we’re going to kick you out of your house.” She has said so. She said in May this year, or somewhere there, that this is an absolute nonsense. She is on the public record saying that security of tenure is an absolute nonsense. She is the one that says, “Let’s find ways of moving them on.” I think having a big scythe at your front door is a pretty good way of moving them on. I do not mind telling every single public housing tenant the actual name of the grim reaper.
MRS DUNNE: My question is directed to the minister for education. Minister, have you or your department given directives that would prevent principals of non-government schools having access to ACT preschools to advertise their kindergarten enrolment procedures to prospective new students?
MS GALLAGHER: No.
MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Why then, minister, has a Woden preschool recently been reprimanded for displaying kindergarten enrolment information for one of the non-government schools in the area?
MS GALLAGHER: I will have to check the veracity of the allegations that Mrs Dunne is putting forward. We do not automatically assume that what she says is correct, and that a preschool has been reprimanded. I would have to check that that is the case.
I had this raised with me last week in a letter and at the meeting I had with the non-government schools council where they asked me the same question. In fulfilling my duties—as I need to and as I like to—I checked on information with the department about whether such a directive had been given. It certainly had not come from me, so I checked with the department. The advice back was that no such directive had been given.
On one occasion teachers raised this issue with me, and this is what I told the non-government schools last week at a meeting with the education union’s council, where they had raised some concerns around the promotion of non-government schools within the government preschool system. Certainly, some teachers at that meeting did not agree that that should be the case.
As to any directive from me or from the department, that has not been issued. If there are any rumblings in the sector, I imagine they are being driven by teachers within the system, or perhaps by the education union. I have not checked whether that is the case with the union. I have undertaken to get back to the non-government schools that are concerned about this.
There is a genuine issue here about the role that government preschools play. We are trying to promote preschool-to-primary links in our government system. Of course, we like children to have a good experience at preschool and then go on to their feeder school. That is the ultimate aim of running a strong and healthy public education system. I have undertaken to get back to those people who are concerned and discuss the matter