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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 March 2015) . . Page.. 830 ..

MR WALL: Minister, have you received a briefing from the directorate since the story relating to this issue was published in the Canberra Times earlier this year?

MR RATTENBURY: I do not recall having a specific discussion with the directorate on this issue, but I certainly have had a number of matters brought to my attention, particularly by the RSPCA, who have put the view that there are shortcomings in the way that ACT legislation operates that have meant that they feel that there are barriers to getting action on some of these sorts of matters. I have indicated to the RSPCA that I will work with them to look at amendments to the legislation, and I have asked the directorate to undertake discussions directly with the RSPCA and provide me with a brief on what changes to the legislation may be required in order to improve animal welfare in these sorts of cases.


MS PORTER: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group recently finalised its report into teacher quality in Australia. What were the findings of the committee and how is the ACT government responding to the committee’s report?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for the question. Research tells us that the quality of the teacher is paramount to achieving quality student outcomes. Hence the importance of giving our future teachers the best possible preparation cannot be overstated.

The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group focused particularly on teacher preparation. Its report provided 38 recommendations. The recommendations covered five themes. The first was stronger quality assurance of teacher education courses. The second was rigorous selection for entry to teacher education courses. The third was improved and structured practical experience for teacher education students. The fourth was robust assessment of graduates to ensure classroom readiness. And the fifth was national research and workforce planning capabilities. I understand the Australian government has accepted 37 of those recommendations.

It is very important that TEMAG recommendations are implemented successfully if future teachers and students in our schools are to benefit fully. The implementation must be well considered, well researched, broadly accepted and sustainable.

I think that the recommendations are very practical. However, I want the outcomes for the ACT to be broader than simply refining and improving current processes and procedures. It is important that our approach is innovative and creative. Our innovation and creativity were recognised through three examples in the report: the Down South partnership between ACU and St Mary MacKillop College; the University of Canberra’s teacher secondment program; and the common practicum assessment tool used by both universities. They were recognised in the national response to the TEMAG review.

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