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Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Page: 3299


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (13:44): As a great friend of teachers and, like all of us, a great friend of the state government, I've been somewhat disappointed by the evidence-free policy solo flights that we've seen in return-to-school policies. While national cabinet worked on the way in, it has fractured on the way out. I want to see evidence driving school attendance. That's not what's happened, and I'm most concerned about the vulnerable children. My city—the first to survey every vulnerable family—found that only five per cent of those children were at school and over 50 per cent of them are unable to learn at home or are doing no learning.

We must make sure this period is as short as possible. This period must be founded in evidence. And to our teachers—who are beleaguered at having to juggle many balls in the air doing home and school based learning—thank you for the extra work you're putting in to look after our children. But we now know that over half of vulnerable children are getting no education, and any blizzard of SIM cards will not fix it.

We want our children protected and educated. We know that parents know where our children really belong: their education is in front of a teacher. It's self-evident. Stop making out that parents are slack, lazy and lifestyle parents because they're turning up to school hoping to enrol their children.

To those mothers who had their children torn out of classrooms and told to sit in the principal's office and wait for a lecture; for those who are the parents of special education children, those with ASD and those with special needs told they couldn't attend, because they weren't vulnerable, that is a disgrace. I hope that period is sent back to history quickly. (Time expired)