Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5117 ..
have been recruited. The government has announced plans to recruit an additional five psychologists, at a cost of $2.4 million. There is no funding in the budget to cover the 15 additional psychologists promised. Minister, does the government plan to recruit an additional 15 psychologists? If so, when will the additional psychologists be recruited?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Wall for the question. The first five psychologists have been recruited and will begin at the start of the school year next year, in 2018. The following 15 psychologists will be recruited over the term.
MR WALL: Minister, how will the government fund the recruitment of these 15 additional psychologists?
MS BERRY: Through the normal processes, through the budget.
MRS JONES: How confident are you that the directorate will be able to fill all these positions, given we have some national shortages of people in these professions?
MS BERRY: I am very confident that the Education Directorate will be able to fill all of the positions.
MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. Can the minister update the Assembly on the new school being built in the north Gungahlin suburb of Taylor?
MS BERRY: Thank you for the question. The new school, currently under construction, in Taylor will be a preschool to year 6 school, catering for students in Taylor, Moncrieff and Jacka. I was very fortunate to be able to officially start the construction, along with local members Michael Pettersson and Suzanne Orr, who joined me at the official sod turning a couple of weeks ago.
The engagement from the broader community has been great to see, and I am looking forward to seeing the local school community build around the new school, with parents, teachers and the student community. When the school opens in term 1 in 2019, it will cater for 88 preschool and 600 primary school students, increasing the capacity of public education in Gungahlin. This delivers on a previous election commitment delivering $32 million for constructing the new school, which will include two playing fields at the site.
Schools are the central hubs in our communities, and more than just where our children are educated. The new primary school will be the first community facility provided in Taylor, and will be a central hub, with a school hall, oval and meeting rooms available for community use.
MR PETTERSSON: How will the design of this school support a great learning experience for children and provide a good place for teachers and support staff to work?