Page 978 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 April 2014

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, it is commendable that you were calling yourself the minister for all education in Canberra.

MADAM SPEAKER: Preamble, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: The question is: is that same stance taken by your fellow members of cabinet? Only a short while ago the Chief Minister said that she was the minister for government schools only.

Mr Gentleman: A point of order, Madam Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Gentleman.

Mr Gentleman: The question is not related to the first question in the series.

MADAM SPEAKER: No, the standing orders do not allow for that. The supplementary questions have to relate to the question or matters that arise in answering the question. Mr Doszpot referred to something that I heard Ms Burch say when she said that she was the minister for education for all schools. So I think that, although the preamble was probably out of order, the question is in order.

Dr Bourke: A supplementary.

MADAM SPEAKER: I call on Minister Burch to have a go at answering the question before I call anyone else.

MS BURCH: We are very clearly a government that supports all schools. We have signed up to a six-year agreement, the national education reform, that shows a commitment to public schools, Catholic schools and independent schools. At a recent sitting we brought forward a motion that called on this place to support that commitment to all schools. It was you, Mr Doszpot, and it was the Canberra Liberals that did not have that support in this place.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what does the data show about enrolment by Indigenous students and students with disabilities?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest. The school census does help to identify areas of particular need within our education system and reinforces the importance the ACT government places on programs to support students with the highest needs.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments in ACT schools this year was 1,960, which is an increase of 12 per cent on last year. Public schools continued to have the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait

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