Page 954 - Week 03 - Thursday, 3 April 2008

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operate in its present form at the end of the 2008 school year and become a P-2 childhood school in 2009. Minister, will you rule out closing Narrabundah primary school for renovation and relocating students before the end of this year to allow those renovations to happen?

MR BARR: I answered that question previously—yes.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question.

MRS BURKE: Minister, will you now rule out that these students will be not placed in a school hall to carry out their education?

MR BARR: I think Mrs Burke meant by that question whether I will rule out these students being placed in a school hall.

Mrs Burke: Will you rule it out, correct.

MR BARR: Yes, Mr Speaker, I will rule out students being placed in a school hall. But, what I will say is that, as is the case across all schools in the ACT, public and private, assemblies generally occur in school halls, and, during the winter months, often physical education activities and some other school activities are undertaken in school halls. That is standard, and that practice will continue. So school halls will continue to be used, but whole schools will not have their entire education programs conducted in school halls. I can make that commitment.

Mrs Burke: But some other type.

MR BARR: Some classes, for example, PE—

Mrs Burke: Any other lessons?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Burke.

MR BARR: It is possible, Mr Speaker, that some other classes will be conducted in school halls or where groups are moved together on a decision taken at a school level. I am not going to dictate in the Assembly that no classes can occur in a hall. That is a ridiculous proposition. But what I can absolutely state is that there will not be a term or a semester of activity whereby a student’s entire education program will be conducted in a school hall. From time to time, for a variety of reasons, perhaps for the viewing of a film or a television program or for bringing together a number of year levels for school band activities, some activities occur in a school hall. That happens regularly.

To make it crystal clear for the opposition: students will not be spending their entire time in the school hall for entire school programs, but classes, as is normally the case in the education system, can be conducted in school halls. That normal practice will continue.

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