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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 August 2015) . . Page.. 2709 ..

implementation of many of the recommendations of the report through the collaborative work of the ACT Teacher Quality Institute, Catholic, independent and public schools and the ACT universities.

Much work remains to be done about what we really mean by teachers entering the profession “ready to teach”. We must find ways both to enable new teachers to access the benefits of working with their more experienced colleagues and to ensure that experienced teachers continue to develop their professional practice. Teachers must own these standards and continue to develop them so that they do not become something that is imposed upon them externally but are part of the profession itself being responsible for those who enter it. That is why it will be important that we continue to work with the commonwealth, states and territories to implement national improvements to teacher quality, and work with employers and universities to achieve better outcomes.

I would also like to touch on the importance of parental engagement in all of this. Parents are vital to this process. They have a key role to play in ensuring students continue to achieve excellent student outcomes. There are clear benefits of positive parental engagement in student learning, by way of improved academic achievement, wellbeing and productivity. Parent engagement is associated with improvements across a range of indicators, including better education outcomes, enhanced engagement with school work, more regular school attendance, better behaviour and increased social skills.

I believe that resourcing and effectively progressing parental engagement initiatives are warranted for, if not essential to, education reform and quality improvement. Together with national improvements to teacher quality, our community can continue to reap the benefits of having a highly educated population, making us continue to be “clever Canberra”.

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (12.07): I welcome the opportunity to speak to this motion today, and I thank Dr Bourke for bringing this subject on for debate. I am pleased that Dr Bourke, in bringing this subject matter to the attention of the Assembly, continues to demonstrate a keen interest in the advancement of and discussion on educational matters, which is quite a contrast with the minister for education, who just this morning could not be in attendance to debate a very serious issue for her education community with regard to Telopea Park School.

Enhancing teacher quality and lifting the profile of teachers is critical. If we are to raise overall educational outcomes for all children, it is important to address the issues that Dr Bourke has raised. However, I do admit to a wry smile when I first read this motion last week—it did not get a run then—because, on the face of it, it suggests that without the enlightenment of the ACT education minister and the advice and support of a newly elected Queensland Labor government, Australian educational standards would be in ruins and ACT education would be struggling.

Of course, what Dr Bourke very glibly passed over, and only mentioned in passing in his call to action, is the vital, indeed pivotal, role that the current federal coalition government is playing in driving the educational agenda. In fact, his motion is a

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