Expert Panel to review support for students

Released 08/04/2015

An Expert Panel is being convened to review how schools respond to students with complex needs and challenging behaviour in the ACT, including the use of withdrawal spaces, Minister for Education and Training Joy Burch announced today.

The Expert Panel’s review is being conducted in conjunction with an investigation currently being undertaken into how an inappropriate and unacceptable withdrawal space was installed in an ACT public school on 10 March 2015. The structure was removed on 27 March.

“The investigation is already underway into how this space came to be installed, who was involved, and the response of the Education and Training Directorate,” Ms Burch said.

“The investigation is being conducted by an independent investigator sourced by Shared Services. A report from the investigation is expected within weeks.

“The Expert Panel’s review will be a broader look at the policy framework and practices that support schools in responding to students with complex needs and challenging behaviours.

“The Expert Panel will be chaired by Emeritus Professor Anthony Shaddock. Dr Sue Packer, together with Alistair Roy, Children and Young People Commissioner for the ACT Human Rights Commission, have agreed to be panel members.

“The Expert Panel will invite community input. They will also consider best-practice from other jurisdictions. I expect the Panel to report to me within six months, after which I will seek to establish a Select Committee to review its recommendations. I expect these recommendations to be dealt with by the Assembly by the end of this calendar year.

“This is a matter that is above party politics. I know we have all been shocked by this incident, and our priority is to make sure students, staff, and families are confident in the supports provided in our ACT schools.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Joy Burch, MLA | Media Releases

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