Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 December 2008) . . Page.. 73 ..
advise the Assembly that there is something in the order of 761 enrolments in that preschool to year 7 intake. By way of contrast, and to provide some history for the new shadow minister, the three schools that were merged into this new school had, at the time of the 2005 census when the decision was made to close both Holt and Higgins high schools and the Ginninderra district high school, 542 enrolments—
Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The question asked quite specifically when the minister became aware of the possibility of classes not being offered in years 8, 9 and 10. Providing a whole lot of background, which any of us who were listening to the minister on the radio this morning would have heard, does not directly relate to the question that Mr Doszpot asked.
MR SPEAKER: Minister, come to the question, please.
MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is important to set that context. From the beginning of this process of seeking to amalgamate two primary schools into a new school and to establish the new high school all on the one site—
Mr Seselja: Just give us the date.
Mrs Dunne: So this is the new cooperation between the territory and the commonwealth?
MR BARR: If the Muppet gallery could just be quiet for a moment, I could make the point that in establishing this new facility, like every new school that has been established in the territory in recent times, there was always going to be the prospect, as we advised parents from the start, that if there was not sufficient interest the full education program might not be offered. This is particularly going to be the case for year 10. If you think logically, if you have completed years 7, 8 and 9 at another high school you are unlikely to want to move and to change schools in year 10.
Mr Smyth: When did you know?
Mrs Dunne: Yes, when did you know?
MR BARR: I have been aware from the start of this process that it was possible that the full education program in years 8, 9 and 10 would not operate if enrolments were not sufficient. I note that no-one is suggesting that the school should go ahead and try to run a year 10 program with six students. No-one is suggesting that. We have all this confected outrage from those opposite, particularly from Mrs Dunne who is making a habit of it already in the first half-hour of question time. For all of that, no-one is suggesting that we try to run a year 10 program at this school with six students.
I have known from the start that there was the prospect that the full education program would not operate in year 1. It will in future years as we expect the strong enrolments in year 7 of 126, which is three-quarters of the total year 7 to 10 enrolment at the former school. To give you an indication, we had 542 enrolments in the three schools from preschool to year 10. We now have over 760 in just preschool to year 7. That is a very important indication of community support for the new school. Just like