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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1241 ..


MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. Minister, when you announced your future of education discussion paper on 16 February, you said: “I have also written directly to important stakeholders.” Minister, yesterday you said that you had not written to the non-government sector. Why do you not consider the non-government school sector worthy of being one of the first stakeholders that you consult with?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Wall for the question. I am not sure why you are trying to start a war here because we are working very closely with all schools, the entire school system, around a conversation on the future of education.

Mr Coe: Your inconsistency.

MS BERRY: No, not at all. After I made my statement around the future of education, a copy of the statement was sent to all stakeholders. I do not think we missed anybody out, and we did include the independent and Catholic school systems. Earlier this week, on Monday, my office had a conversation with the independent schools to assure them that they would be involved in the conversation. At this stage we have not started the process of what that conversation would look like. We have been making sure that stakeholders know about it and we have been talking about the way we would be having those conversations and how we would involve the broader community, and that it would not just involve the ordinary stakeholders within the education community. So I am not sure why there is some confusion around this or why the opposition is trying to have an argument about something that there is not an argument about. It is very unusual.

MR WALL: Minister, when will you include the non-government sector in this discussion since they feel as though they have been excluded thus far?

MS BERRY: Again I am very surprised that there has been an allegation from the opposition that my office and the government are not including independent schools in—

Mrs Jones: It is not what we said; it is what they said.

MS BERRY: No. They have been provided with a copy of the statement. This week we have had a conversation with them. My office has met with them and gone to functions. I have been to functions with the Catholic Education Office. I have absolutely welcomed and encourage them to be part of this conversation.

I am not sure where the opposition’s confusion is around this because certainly as early as this week we have had a conversation with the independent schools. I do not know why there is confusion about them not being involved when they are very much involved.

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