Education is central to the concept of social inclusion since it helps equip people with the necessary life-skills and qualifications to establish social networks, make informed choices, and participate in cultural, economic and political life. This is especially true for 'at risk' population groups such as people who have a mental illness or disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds who are subject to inter-generational disadvantage.
Universal access to a quality preschool program for every child
Every child is guaranteed access to a quality preschool program in the year before formal schooling.
Educational opportunities for pregnant and parenting students
The Canberra College in partnership with ACT Health and government and non-government community agencies, provides an education and support program for pregnant and parenting students in the ACT and surrounding districts. CCCares offers Year 12 Certification, goal orientated learning packages, online learning, education and welfare support, health services, and vocational education and employability skills within a mainstream ACT Government College context.
New Introductory English Centres
On 20 March 2015, Minister Burch opened the new Gungahlin Introductory English Centre (IEC) at Palmerston District Primary School. This centre is the sixth IEC established in Canberra. It provides a more suitable location for newly arrived students residing in Gungahlin to begin their education in a safe and supportive environment.
These centres are an important part of our inclusivity practice in ACT public schools. They focus on the development of beginning English skills whilst learning the Australian curriculum, and help prepare students both academically and culturally for future learning in a mainstream school.
English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D)
Over the last two years, 137 teachers have attended a Teacher Quality Institute accredited English as an Additional Language/ Dialect Teachers' Professional Learning Forum. The focus of the forum was on improving teacher understanding of the complexities for students transitioning from an Introductory English Centre into mainstream settings and to build their capacity to support both the students and their mainstream class teachers through the transition period.