Page 768 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 29 March 2006

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The department has implemented the findings and conclusions of the report in a number of ways. Professional learning has focused on building the capacity of teachers to deliver inclusive programs that incorporate a variety of teaching and learning strategies to address the individual learning needs of students. There is professional learning for principals to enhance their capacity as curriculum leaders in their schools, focusing on the individual learning needs of students. There is a focus on providing relevance and meaning in the curriculum, and different ways of learning, for example through the year 9 exhibitions program and the increasing inclusion of vocational education and training. We have highlighted the importance of good relationships in teaching and learning; for example, the department’s study, teaching and learning in the middle years in the ACT, which was released late last year, identifies the significance of strong relationships between teachers and their students. Also, the department’s discussion paper The inclusivity challenge supports schools and teachers to address inclusivity in their classroom and school practice.

In 2005, Dr Andrew Martin issued a further research report, Motivating boys and motivating girls: does gender really make a difference? based on 2003 survey data from New South Wales and ACT coeducational high schools. The report identifies again teacher quality as the key factor in lifting boys results and the importance of male role models in their education.

The following schools were also involved in the Australian government Boys’ Education Lighthouse Schools project: Isabella Plains, North Ainslie and Palmerston primary schools and Stromlo high school. Also, a number of ACT government schools have been recognised and won awards for their initiatives in boys’ education. These include the resilience and adolescent development program at Lyneham high school; the project orientated school mentoring project at Theodore primary school; the Stromlo cluster focusing on boys’ wellbeing and improving engagement in learning, with funding from the stage 2 BELS project; and in 2006 12 schools, including eight government schools, have received a total of $70,000 in funding from the recently launched success for boys professional learning project.


MS MacDONALD: My question is to Mr Stanhope, the Chief Minister. Is the Chief Minister aware of the latest business survey undertaken by the Hudson report? What findings does the survey make about the employment outlook in the ACT?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I certainly am aware of the results of the employment expectations survey undertaken by Hudson for the period April last year to June this year. Not surprisingly, consistent with other surveys that have been undertaken, notably by the chamber of commerce and others, the employment outlook is excellent, as is business confidence within the ACT, and that is a fantastic thing.

The employment outlook is incredibly strong and, in the opinion of businesses throughout the ACT, is expected to improve. More than half of the 350 employers surveyed say that they will increase staffing levels during the next quarter from June 2006. That is slightly lower than the business expectations survey of the

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