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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 August 2015) . . Page.. 2716 ..

why I have asked the directorate to trial a new assessment tool, as Dr Bourke referenced, to assess the literacy and numeracy competence of the teachers we employ in ACT public schools.

From this year’s recruitment round, all new applicants will be asked to demonstrate that they have personal literacy and numeracy skills which place them in the top 30 per cent of the population. We are the first jurisdiction to do this; the rest of the nation will follow us. It is a demonstration of the quality of the cross-sectoral work we have in the ACT out of our public education commitment to provide only the best teachers for our students.

In looking at the recommendations for TEMAG, I am particularly interested in improving the practical experience for teacher education and students, building university and school partnerships, selecting the right applicants for initial teacher education programs and ensuring the literacy and numeracy standards of our new graduates.

The ACT has built a strong national reputation through its positive engagement across our sectors. We are often described as punching above our weight. I commend the efforts of the Chief Minister at COAG and the work where we will support the nation in making sure that all teachers are of the highest quality. In many ways we are leading by example. It is about teacher quality but it is also about resources. It is disappointing that the federal government tore up the unity ticket and that Mr Doszpot and others on the other side continue to seek fair resources for the independent and catholic education systems that will be millions of dollars worse off because of their failure to honour the unity ticket before the previous election.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (11.32), in reply: I welcome the support across the house for this motion I have brought today on teacher quality and education in the ACT. I thank Minister Burch, Minister Rattenbury and Mr Doszpot for their contributions. But I cannot let go past my concern about the way Mr Doszpot as education spokesperson continues to talk about things and the things does not talk about. We have already heard from the minister that Mr Doszpot did not even acknowledge the existence of the Teacher Quality Institute in his speech. Perhaps this is a hark back to the time during the 2012 election campaign when he forgot the Canberra Institute of Technology.

But putting that to one side, I think it is a much greater issue that he seeks to model himself and his educational philosophies on Christopher Pyne. Goodness me, this is the man who before an election says, “We’re a unity ticket on education. We subscribe to the principle that we are going to fund schools and children on the basis of those most in need,” which is at the essence of the Gonski review, and then tears it all up the minute he gets into office. That is what we have seen from the federal education minister.

This is a group of neocons who want to take this country and this territory back to the 1950s. That is where Mr Doszpot wants to take education, education funding and education philosophy in this territory and in this country.

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