Page 4203 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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development of new policy regarding restrictive practices in schools. Everyone will have clear information about how, when and why these practices will be used. Education and Training will support the development and implementation of the positive behaviour support program in all schools. A program of professional learning and mentoring-coaching to support schools to implement this highly regarded program will be developed next year. Education and Training will support opportunities for school leaders to increase awareness and expertise by visiting best practice schools and promoting the expertise of executive teachers through interschool knowledge exchange.

For families and communities, we will undertake a comprehensive review of SCAN—the student appraisal of need tool—and disability funding in relation to future vision of a funding model for disability in schools. Acknowledging the significant role of families and parents, a further $50,000 will go towards supplying materials supporting parental engagement. This will support the engagement of parents with students with complex needs and challenging behaviours.

In line with the final recommendation in the expert panel’s report, an appropriately skilled oversight group will be established to oversight ACT school systems’ implementation of these recommendations. I expect that this oversight group will report each three months for a 12-month period before considering their ongoing role.

These projects will build on our reform agenda by encouraging supports and structures that meet the needs of students and staff, an increased investment in teachers and quality teaching practice, greater connection of schools to their communities, environments that facilitate good outcomes, more accessible best practice policies and consistent implementation, and accountable and open communication.

Our schools are environments in which students, staff, families and the community can engage and be enriched. We have great schools here in the ACT. The foundation is there, but we want to build on this and strive to achieve more. This will involve work from all school sectors in Canberra. Collaboration between the sectors and with services will provide best practice and support for our students.

All schools are different and there will be a need to be flexible in the way we implement this change. However, the expectations and the intent remain the same across all school sectors. There are always new ways of doing things and we need to take advantage of innovation to ensure that we can improve our services. We will continue to work towards improvements and reform on every measure—across learning, teaching, evaluation, innovation and supporting our students and teachers.

Yesterday this report and the government response were released publicly. I have written to the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs, providing a copy for their consideration.

In closing I want to thank the expert panel and their “critical friends”. I also thank the schools and their leadership across the independent schools network and the Catholic education system for their absolute commitment and willingness to stand as one as we

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