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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 15 November 2007) . . Page.. 3515 ..

(6) Where specifically have all the assets been moved to from the closed school sites;

(7) How many students in schools closing at the end of 2007 have not been accepted at their preferred school as identified by each student;

(8) What are the total operating costs for 2007 in the Department of Education and Training.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) There were 676 students attending a school that closed at the end of 2006. Of these, 95 students were not identified as attending an ACT public school in 2007. The students may have moved interstate or to an ACT non-government school.

(2) The August 2007 census data indicates a total of 274 students who will transition to a new school for the start of 2008 as a result of their current school closing.

(3) Schools that received students from closing schools have put in place a number of strategies and programs to support each individual student, including welcome activities, transition planning, surveys and questionnaires, parent interviews and social skills programs. Evidence gathered by these schools in relation to grade development indicates a range of responses by parents from maintenance of academic achievements levels to improved performance. I am not aware of any principal who has reported a drop in student achievement.

(4) All students who have commenced at a new school in 2007 have access to counselling services.

(5) The total number of students in the ACT school system is 59 970.

(6) Assets from closed school sites have been sorted and redistributed to other ACT public schools in a process which gave priority to the schools that received enrolments from closing schools.

A small quantity of furniture and other items remained after this process. A thorough inspection was then carried out of the remaining items and they were separated into categories for:

retention for future use;

recycling of components to meet other departmental needs;

donation to charitable organisations;

dismantling of damaged and broken items into individual components for recycling through commercial recyclers; and

disposal of non recyclable items at landfill.

(7) Students from closing schools at the end of 2007 are guaranteed a place at their preferred school within the region. The Department is not aware of any students from a closing school not receiving a place or being welcomed at their preferred school.

(8) The Department of Education and Training operates on a financial year. In 2006-07, the total operating costs for the Department of Education were $466.3 million.

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