Page 2518 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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School communities will gain by enabling more power for local school leaders as we support principals to better monitor student and school achievement. For students with disabilities and their families, we commit to further implementation of the disability standards for education to provide reasonable adjustments for students with a disability to access the curriculum. These reforms will also promote greater access to quality language programs, including priority Asian languages, in all our schools.

Through these reforms, school funding will be fairer, based on the demonstrated needs of students.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, now that all three sectors, including Catholic, are part of this reform, what opportunities exist for cross-sectoral cooperation?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his interest in the better schools reforms. We are going through what is possibly the biggest period of reform and transformation in education in decades. Strong links have always existed between the three school sectors in Canberra and these connections will be strengthened as these reforms are delivered.

Examples of the how the sectors have worked together include the establishment of the Gold Creek and Holy Spirit shared campus, the cross-sectoral work of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies and the work of the Teach Quality Institute, where two universities, the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University, are working together to strengthen the quality of the teaching profession.

Nationally, we are leaders in the implementation of the Australian curriculum. We are the only jurisdiction to have agreed cross-sectoral implementation plans that ensure a cohesive approach to the delivery of our curriculum to every child in every ACT school. In the ACT we are committed to cross-sectoral work that moves us beyond the boundaries of individual schools or sector needs to the common goals that distinguish teaching as a true profession. These reforms are for all schools and will benefit all our students and their families.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what does the bipartisan support nationally mean for these education reforms?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question. Indeed, it is very pleasing to hear Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne have revised their previous decisions and now support these reforms. What it means for the schools in the ACT is certainty. It provided certainty for all our schools, government, Catholic and independent. And I know from conversations with both my officials and representatives of the sectors that this is certainly critical.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

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