Page 5833 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

and that high quality, free and equitable education is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy.

We have long supported properly funded comprehensive school support services, ranging from learning assistance to health and welfare, and making a significant investment in high schools and colleges to improve school coordination and administration, innovative teaching and to improve and enhance student–teacher relationships

The Greens have constantly advocated for better support for our hardworking teachers and a better strategy to both foster continuous learning through professional development and to retain the best teachers. The Greens support Ms Porter’s motion, noting the comments that I made earlier, and I foreshadow that I will be seeking leave to move some amendments.

As I said, noting the comments that I made earlier in regard to the initiatives and partnerships that have been successfully rolled out, we need to be aware that that is to date. They have been successfully rolled out to date, and a lot of that success, of course, is due to our professional teachers. These processes will be ongoing and teachers, if they are properly supported, will be able to continue to roll out those initiatives.

It is incredibly important that we properly support and value our teachers. One thing many teachers have said to me on many occasions is that they want others in the general community to see the value they add to our children’s lives. Certainly the Greens acknowledge and recognise the valuable contribution our teachers make.

I also note the current in-principle agreement of the Australian Education Union’s executive council of the recent enterprise agreement and look forward to a positive outcome for our wonderful teachers out there.

As I said in my speech, teachers are in there doing what they do best—that is, teaching our children and young people. But I know with my own children that teachers put in a lot more hours. Many of them spend hours outside the normal working week to prepare lesson plans, to mark work and also to be engaged in a range of extracurricular activities that really enhance our children’s experience of learning.

A recent one I know of is teachers from my youngest child’s primary school, who gave up their time on three nights to ensure that they would be there looking after a bunch of students from the primary school who were participating in a performing arts event. These teachers went above and beyond to be there and to spend many hours with a very excited group of kids, ensuring that they were safe, ensuring that they got on stage on time and that their costumes were in place and ensuring that the performing arts experience was very special for those students.

As I said, the ACT Greens certainly value the fantastic contribution our teachers make. Again, I foreshadow that I will be moving some amendments once we have dealt with Mr Doszpot’s amendment to Ms Porter’s motion.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video