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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1286 ..

the situation quite bleak. Surely the whole purpose—in fact, the sole purpose—of a morning school bus is to collect students from their local bus stop and get them safely to their school on time. It is concerning that this sole purpose of a morning school bus is so regularly unfulfilled. School bus services are often so convoluted they lead to students getting to school after the first bell.

I am sure that all members in this chamber read with some concern the article on RiotACT last month about the persistent lateness of the 501 service to Mount Stromlo High School. The 501 service to Mount Stromlo high is scheduled to arrive at the school gates at 8.43 in the morning. The first bell of the day at that school is 8.45. Even if the bus does arrive at the scheduled time, it gives students two minutes—two minutes, Madam Assistant Speaker—to get off the bus, walk into the school and into their classrooms in time for rollcall.

With crowds of students piling off the bus and the usual morning hustle and bustle, this is a big ask for even the most disciplined of students—and this, of course, is a best case scenario. Given ACTION’s policy that arriving within 10 minutes of the scheduled arrival time is not considered late, if the school bus arrives after the school bell on a regular basis, so long as it arrives by 8.53—eight minutes after the first bell—it is considered on time. This, of course, does not even address the buses that are actually late, that arrive after 8.53.

As Miss Burch referred to earlier, we know that punctuality is not this government’s strong suit when it comes to bus times. The government may well argue that school buses are different, but the biggest problem is that we just do not know because of the sheer lack of information available to teachers, to parents, to students or to the Canberra public about school bus times and performance.

Being late to class has a number of implications. First, it is disruptive and discourteous to the teacher and to other students who have made the effort to be in class on time. I am sure you will also agree, Madam Assistant Speaker, that we have all been in situations where we have been made to wait for someone who is running late. It is super-annoying.

Second, it causes students who are arriving late to be flustered and to be in a rush, hardly the right frame of mind that we would want for our students who are starting a full day of learning. Third, it is about showing our students that their education matters. If the ACT government shows how it places such little importance on getting our students to school on time, what is that saying to our children about the way this ACT government values their education and their future? For a government that is supposedly so focused on education and public transport, it is simply unacceptable that we have regular school bus services that are not meeting their sole goal of getting our students safely to school on time.

It is not just the beginning of the school day that causes problems. In speaking to several teachers and parents in recent times, I have had accounts that some teachers were letting their classes out early at the end of the day to make sure their students are able to catch their school bus home because the bus arrives and leaves the school with, or without, students on board before the final bell. The only positive in this situation, I

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