Page 1316 - Week 04 - Thursday, 10 April 2008

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A key challenge is to ensure that Indigenous students attend regularly and are engaged with their schooling to make a successful transition to further study or work. The Indigenous home school liaison officers have played an important role in this. However, they cannot achieve this alone. It is the responsibility of the entire education system and the community as a whole. As a community we need to gain a better understanding of how to engage Indigenous students in learning, and we need to ensure that our teachers also have this understanding. Initiatives such as the dare to lead program where schools make a commitment to improving outcomes for Indigenous students are designed to help us gain this better understanding.

The government will continue to work towards the goal of Indigenous students achieving outcomes that are equitable with non-Indigenous students. The foundations we put in place in 2005, the Koori preschool programs and the enhanced literacy and numeracy programs will be continued. Further initiatives funded under the second appropriation of last year will support the delivery of existing or new programs for Indigenous students. The funding will provide for an increase in the number of Indigenous literacy and numeracy teachers who will work with Indigenous students and their teachers from kindergarten to year 4.

A program of professional learning activities for school principals will also be delivered each year, commencing in 2008. The program will focus on topics such as cultural perspectives and effective use of Indigenous role models and will be delivered by key Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators and specialists. Higher-achieving Indigenous students will be supported through high school and college under the Indigenous students aspirations program. This program aims to articulate and facilitate education and career pathways for Indigenous students attending high school and college.

Indigenous education will be further supported in 2008 by the inclusion of a goal in the aspirational documents of every school principal that is specific to learning outcomes for Indigenous students. The Department of Education and Training will support principals to develop their statements. We will continue to work in partnership with the Indigenous community, particularly through the Indigenous Education Consultative Body. Finally, we will continue to support our teachers to enhance their expertise around Indigenous learning.

This report shows the progress we are making in improving educational outcomes for young Indigenous people in the ACT public school system. It shows us that whilst progress is there, we still have a long way to go. This government is determined to continue the work of closing the educational gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students using many of the programs that have been outlined in this report. I commend the 2007 annual report, Performance in Indigenous education.


Mr Corbell presented the following paper:

Planning and Development Act—Planning and Development Amendment Regulation 2008 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2008-8, together with its explanatory statement and a regulatory impact statement (LR, 27 March 2008).

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