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Monday, 19 September 2011
Page: 6323

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaParliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (11:11): I think I will constrain myself to a traditional summing-up speech rather than respond to some of the inaccurate reflections from my colleague on the other side. The Schools Assistance Amendment Bill 2011 makes amendments to the Schools Assis¬≠tance Act 2008 to provide a more certain legal framework for the non-government school sector in which to implement the national curriculum and provide greater administrative efficiency for prescribing the phased introduction of the Australian curriculum. It will repeal the current imple¬≠mentation date for non-government schools of 31 January 2012 and substitute a new provision enabling a standing regulation to prescribe the national curriculum and associated implementation time frames as agreed—and I stress 'as agreed'—by the Council of Australian Governments' Standing Committee for School Education and Early Childhood. The regulations will also allow the government to align curriculum implementation time frames for non-government schools with those for government schools agreed by ministers in December 2010. I will perhaps leave further reflections on some of the issues raised by Senator Mason during his contribution to the discussion of the repeat attempt at the amendments that we will deal with when we go into committee. I commend the bill to the Senate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the bill be read a second time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.