Page 836 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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MS BURCH: I do not have that detail, but what you can see when you look through this are the activities that these focus schools have done over time. They have established good networks with the Aboriginal local communities and families and they have had homework groups established. All that is reflected in our NAPLAN results. If you look at a table earlier in this report it shows that the achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is certainly ahead of the achievements of our non-Indigenous students. It does show a good piece of work is being achieved from these efforts.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what consideration has been given to including either the newly opened Neville Bonner Primary School or the Franklin Early Childhood School in the “focus schools” group?

MS BURCH: When we look at these two schools, we will see the enrolments, particularly at Bonner. It will enrol over a period of years as those years come through. But there are certainly already strong connections to the local community through Bonner. We have spoken with the local Aboriginal community where we have established the Indigenous service there, the Indigenous centre there, which is having a focus on Indigenous culture in the area more broadly.

In Franklin school, that is an early education school, so that is from child care and preschool up to year 2. We would certainly have a look at the enrolments and the demographics of the area and see what effort we need to put in there to target our Aboriginal students should that warrant a particular target.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, will you undertake to review these “focus school” enrolments and requirements more frequently in the future?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. We look at a range of data each and every year. The census for enrolments through government schools will be coming through; I think within the next month we get that information. So we do routinely look at a range of data and points so that we can focus our effort, Mr Doszpot.

Child care—places

MS PORTER: Madam Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Community Services. Minister, during the last ACT election Labor committed to deliver even more child care places in the ACT. How is the government progressing on this commitment?

MADAM SPEAKER: The Minister for Community Services.

MS BURCH: That would be the Minister for Education and Training, Madam Speaker.

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