Page 2788 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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enabling ACT students to graduate from our schools as active, productive and engaged citizens equipped for the digital age.

To further support teachers in this information technology age, the government has provided over $1 million for the ACT Teacher Quality Institute for their digital services delivery phase 2 initiative. This will enable our ACT Teacher Quality Institute to deliver online services relating to teacher registration, professional learning, teaching standards and professional practice and conduct. That is a very important area given that earlier today we discussed your motion, Mr Assistant Speaker, that had a focus on the need for quality teaching to improve our students’ outcomes. In addition this budget provides $700,000 to support teachers with online teaching and learning resources to assist in the delivery of the Australian curriculum.

Domestic violence has for too long been something that has gone sadly unchallenged in our society. We must, as leaders of this community, stand up and with one voice say “no more” to domestic violence. I am proud of the leadership role that this government, including my colleagues Minister Corbell and Minister Berry, are taking to tackle domestic violence. I am proud to be leading the response that our schools and education system are implementing as part of that holistic response.

The ACT government will support ACT public schools to provide social and emotional learning programs through the counter domestic violence initiative which invests $600,000 over two years. This initiative builds on existing programs to make domestic violence an explicit focus of schools in a measured and consistent fashion. It will provide additional resources for the training of teachers and staff on domestic violence issues, including mandatory reporting requirements.

An online resource centre will be developed to connect families to support services, provide additional resources for teachers and support children and young people who may be experiencing domestic violence. This is an important initiative that will be taken to the community and the benefits will be seen for generations to come, when we have the notion of respectful relationships and a zero tolerance for domestic violence initiated, impregnated and implemented within our schools year in and year out.

Our budget initiatives are complemented by our ongoing strategies to support the nation-leading performance of our schools through quality teachers, effective learning environments and positive parental engagement. Ms Fitzharris spoke about parental engagement and I am very pleased to be working with ARACY, the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, in this very important area. I note that our national, leading edge work is being picked up by the commonwealth, which has also been working with ARACY to build on the work that we have done here in schools across the nation.

Teachers are the biggest influence on our student achievement, and teaching quality is therefore critical to improving our education system. Ensuring that we have high quality teachers in our schools is fundamental to building high performing systems and obtaining the very best student outcomes. Above all else, the community expects

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