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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 August 2015) . . Page.. 2220 ..

In addition to this specific policing response, schools and school communities can work in a variety of ways with government. Each of our schools is unique, which means their problems and their solutions require an individual response. This makes engagement with our school communities critical to ensuring that safety continues at our schools.

When an issue at a school is identified, the school communities are engaged at the very beginning of the assessment process to outline the processes and seek feedback about traffic and parking arrangements already in place at that school. Once assessment has been completed, response measures are discussed with the community and agreement sought on measures to be implemented as required. ACT schools, school P&Cs, school boards and others connected to the school are actively engaged with the director in identifying and working through safety solutions. Possible solutions at an individual school are varied and reflect the circumstances of those schools.

Whatever the solution, the government is committed to making sure that our school precincts are as safe as they can be.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, could you provide more detail concerning how parents and students can be involved in the government’s response?

MS BURCH: Parents and students are a critical part of the success of any program to make our school precincts safer. There will be an opportunity to comment on yesterday’s announcements through the time to talk website. However, there are also other ways for parents and families to get involved beyond time to talk and the individual school consultations I mentioned earlier.

Members would be aware of the national ride to school day which promotes not only an active lifestyle but encourages and builds confidence in riding safely. The ACT government has built learn-to-ride facilities at Southern Cross Early Childhood School and at the Charnwood-Dunlop School, where students can learn the road rules and build their confidence in riding on roads. The NRMA science and road safety day lets students participate in a road safety show, discuss the road safety messages in class with their teachers and then complete student workbooks designed to reinforce the road safety messages. Fraser Primary School conducts a walking school bus program designed to teach students good active travel behaviours.

These are just some examples of the activities where active participation by parents and students is helping to solve and work through these issues. However, I think the best way parents and students can be involved is to lead a discussion at their own schools. Individual school responses to traffic management and communication with parents play an important part in road user behaviour and safety during school pick-up and drop-off times.

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