Page 344 - Week 01 - Thursday, 14 February 2008

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(Question No 1792)

Dr Foskey asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 22 November 2007:

(1) What funding is to be made available to primary schools that, through the 2020 strategy, are being turned into 0-8 schools;

(2) What processes have been implemented to determine the physical changes to the schools;

(3) What is the availability of appropriately qualified and experienced teachers;

(4) How will the Department ensure that work is completed in time for the 2009 school year;

(5) What provisions are being made to ensure that indigenous students at Narrabundah Primary School can access appropriate education after leaving the P-3 school Narrabundah is to become;

(6) Where parents drop children at schools handier to their work than their home, and senior primary schools nearby will not take them because they are out of area, where does the Department suggest they attend school from Year 4 on;

(7) Is the impact of the changes on enrolments being taken into account and is there the possibility that plans to change their structure will be changed if numbers drop to the extent that the school is considered too small by departmental criteria;

(8) Could the Government provide enrolment numbers for 2007 and projected enrolments for 2008 for all those schools designated 0-8 from 2009.

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

(1) $10 million in capital funding is being provided from the Schools Infrastructure Renewal program. Funding support for any new programs operating from the schools will be provided as required when the schools commence operation.

(2) The Department is consulting with other agencies, as outlined in the recently released Early Childhood Schools Framework, and is engaging the services of consultants to undertake a feasibility study of the facilities. This work will establish the building changes likely to be required at each of the sites.

(3) The Department received in excess of 1100 applications for its annual recruitment campaign for classroom teachers. The Department has made offers of employment to highly ranked appropriately qualified teachers to fill available positions. At the completion of the transfer and placement process for 2008 all known and anticipated teacher vacancies will have been filled. The University of Canberra offers graduate and postgraduate degrees in early childhood education.

(4) The Department will work closely with the project manager to monitor progress against the contract schedule in an endeavour to achieve this target. Wherever possible, essential works will be scheduled for completion for the start of the 2009 school year.

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