Communication with local member

An example, more positive than most, of communication with a local member of Parliament

From: Seselja, Zed [] 
Sent: Thursday, 4 September 2008 11:32 AM
To: xxx

Subject: Education in the ACT Election [Scanned]

Dear Barbara


Thank you for your email. You have raised an excellent point which I will certainly consider with future policy launches. I wasn’t aware of the concern so will have one of my Advisers follow through with the issue.



Zed Seselja MLA
Member for Molonglo 
Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Planning, Housing Affordability & Infrastructure 
Shadow Minister for Education and Training 


From: Barbara 
Sent: Monday, 18 August 2008 7:48 AM
To: Seselja, Zed
Subject: Education in the ACT Election [Scanned]

Dear Mr Seselja
Your party is making a strong stance on the education platform for the upcoming ACT elections, stating primary classes will be no more than 21 students and you will employ more secondary teachers, both of  which are to be commended.  However, these moves are not enough to improve student learning outcomes, even if you were to find enough teachers and grow enough buildings to meet your goals.

To ensure teachers are able to deliver a quality curriculum and  students develop the skills which will enable them to function independently in the 21st century, there needs to be a qualified teacher librarian on the staff of every school from primary through to college.  Over 60 studies in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK have provided strong evidence that well-resourced school libraries with professionally trained teacher librarians are a key predictor of student academic achievement yet more and more, this position is disappearing within our ACT schools as principals fashion their staffing budgets to meet their own agendas.  (In some schools even vital roles like Reading Recovery and ESL have been abandoned.)

It is not enough to have an unqualified clerk (as is the growing trend) because, although they may be able to manage circulation and shelving duties very well, they do not have the knowledge, experience and expertise to

·         provide leadership in curriculum development and delivery;

·         develop a resource collection that meets the needs of staff, students and that curriculum;

·         teach information literacy skills so students can manage the information world with confidence and competence;

·         and undertake the myriad of other responsibilities of the qualified teacher librarian.

What will your party do to ensure that the position of a fully qualified teacher librarian is mandated in the staffing framework of the school to ensure that staff and students have access to the vital support and services they require?

What will your party to to ensure that positions such as that of the teacher librarian, Reading Recovery and ESL will not be lost in an effort to meet your 21 children per class promise?

Please do not reply saying that it is up to principals to staff their schools, because the current system is not working to the students’ best advantage, particularly with principals only in positions for a maximum of six years. I shall be sharing your response with the teacher librarians and teachers of the ACT.

Yours sincerely


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