Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3134 ..
The director-general has also created a director of compliance and regulation. This officer will have responsibilities over all education and care settings and will be the executive responsible for ensuring a rigorous quality assurance and compliance process. We will also look to the report of the expert panel when it comes in October and its advice on how we can make systematic changes to give students with complex needs the best opportunities in our schools.
This is, indeed, a concerning and disappointing episode for our Education and Training Directorate. Again, I understand that those opposite and the community rightly have questions over this. But we have provided the information we can. Those opposite know full well the framework of investigations and that these have been undertaken through public sector enterprise agreements. It also, as I said today in question time, had reference to the Public Sector Management Act and the teacher quality requirements of professional standards. Every possible lens has been put to this.
We will not be releasing more information. We cannot under the terms and conditions of this process that was done under an EBA. Anybody who is a public servant or who knows anybody who is a public servant fully understands those constraints.
The community was right to be shocked and, indeed, I would say, outraged over the decisions and circumstances of this. I share that outrage; I shared it on the day I became aware of it. I certainly shared it on the day I saw the only image I have seen of it. I initiated the responses that are now in place. This simply should not have happened. I do not offer any excuses for it. But I will not tolerate any more excuses from the directorate and officers. I want to make sure this cannot happen again. I will not tolerate staff who believe that this is correct or justifiable. There must be and there is a better way we care for our children.
The investigation is complete. It has made findings and the director-general is actioning those. We have an expert panel that will make recommendations to me, and we will action those. Let us do all we can in this place to make sure this does not happen again. Throughout all of this, it is important to remember that our public education system is, indeed, a great system, providing great teaching and learning, and serves our community and our children well. Let us not forget that. Let us not forget how this poor decision-making has resulted in this structure that has no level of acceptability in any way, shape or form.
This is not around stepping away from being aware of that and dealing with it as it needed to be dealt with. The length of time—and I am on record as being frustrated by the length of time—is as it is. I would have hoped for a quicker conclusion to this, as the community would have. But under the independence and the terms of this investigation through the EBA, it is as it is. The findings are as they are. What we must do now is move to make sure that through the two director positions we have absolute assurance that we provide respect and regard to each and every student in our schools.