Page 4131 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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What I think it is worth putting on record, as Professor Shaddock has said himself during today’s discussions, is that we are the first jurisdiction to invite across all our school sectors experts to come in and to have a look particularly at complex and challenging behaviours, not just disability, not just autism, but complex and challenging behaviours.

You do not necessarily need to be a child with a disability to demonstrate challenging behaviours. What this report goes to in some length is that children from disadvantaged backgrounds—from families with drug and alcohol problems, mental health problems, children suffering trauma—will display complex and challenging behaviours in schools.

I am very proud that this jurisdiction, with the independent and Catholic schools alike, takes this as an opportunity to build on our strong foundations and make the systems across all our schools the best we can for our kids.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, when will the necessary changes to guidelines be completed, and when will these guidelines be operational?

MS BURCH: ETD is seeing it as a priority to make these changes and to have them available as quickly as possible. Also, as I have said today and as I said to you in the briefing this morning, ETD will take the lead and carriage where it can in policy development. I know there is also some commentary about infrastructure and the design of the built form; where we can, we will take the lead on that and we will willingly offer it, provide it, to the independents and Catholic schools.

I have also made an announcement today that there will be an independent oversight body that will meet every three months and report to me. That oversight body will be in place for 12 months and then we will consider what we do; do we need that oversight body after that? So, every three months, I will get an update about how the implementation plan that will sit under this report will be progressed and delivered.

Disability services—staffing

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Disability. Minister, in 2001 the board of inquiry into disability services found, among many other things, that there was an unacceptably high usage and turnover of casual staff and an inability to attract and retain appropriately qualified staff, particularly with regard to supported accommodation or group homes. Is there a problem currently with staff being underprepared for working in the remaining Disability ACT-run group homes?

MS BURCH: Disability ACT has put in place a program for induction and training across the disability support officers. A casual workforce has been and will continue to be, I think, part of the workforce response in government and non-government sectors, whatever level of service delivery there is. There will always need to be

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