Page 2862 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest in this. The importance of these memorandums of understanding with the Association of Independent Schools and the Catholic Education Office to govern the annual reporting requirements cannot be understated. They mark two years of collaboration and discussion to ensure that we are providing consistent registration and compliance guidelines in all ACT schools. These agreements demonstrate the commitment of all education sectors to provide the highest standard of education and care to all ACT students.

A review of the registration process for non-government schools was held in 2013, and key education stakeholders, including the AIS and the Catholic Education Office, made submissions to that review. The three sectors have met regularly over the last two years to explore recommendations made by the review and to come up with a way to strengthen an already rigorous process for registration of non-government schools.

Together the three sectors also teased out how they could better align the public school improvement process with the non-government school registration process. The MOU does this, and it enables the alignment of public and independent and Catholic schools across a quality assurance process.

Public schools, Catholic schools and independent schools all have similar requirements and processes for reporting critical incidences and for ensuring they are compliant with the relevant requirements around safe and quality schooling. Canberra parents can be confident that these MOUs allow me to assure the community that our schools are providing high quality care, and they allow the individual schools to assure their local communities that they are also providing quality education.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, will you as the minister for all schools condemn those in our community who seek to label independent schools as “blazer schools”?

MS BURCH: Mr Hanson knows full well that I take great pride in being a minister for all our schools. The signing of these MOUs and the understanding across all our sectors demonstrates that I have great faith in the diversity of our education system.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order on relevance, Madam Speaker. The question was very specific as to whether she will condemn those who seek to label the independent schools as “blazer schools”. I ask the minister to respond to that.

MADAM SPEAKER: I was listening to Minister Burch. She had got less than 30 seconds into her answer, but I will ask her to be relevant to the question.

Ms Burch: I have completed my answer.

Transport—light rail

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Capital Metro. Minister, the transport for Canberra document completed under your watch for 2012 to 2031 encourages the

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