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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald is a senior reporter for The Canberra Times.

New private school checks are not good enough, say public education groups

Emma Macdonald Revamped rules for new private schools wanting to set up in the ACT appeared to provide no greater protections for existing schools, and no guarantee of impartial approvals than before, according to...

ACT kids improve already top NAPLAN results

Students at the Wanniassa School junior campus. ACT Education Minister Joy Burch said the ACT had ranked first or equal first in grammar and punctuation, and numeracy across all year levels since 2009.

Emma Macdonald The ACT has posted its best literacy and numeracy performance of recent years – coming top or equal top in 18 of 20 domains.

Private schools to report critical incidents

Over the long term, public schools have lifted standards of educational attainment.

Emma Macdonald From next year, all critical incidents at private schools in Canberra will need to be reported to the ACT Education Directorate.

Conder childcare centre says it has been vindicated by inquiry after sleeping pill incident

Courtney Durran and Arizona (4) at the park near their home in Weston Creek. Durran removed her daughter from the Conder Early Childhood Centre after having issues with care at the centre. 
30 July 2015
Photo: Rohan Thomson
The Canberra Times

Emma Macdonald The national operator of Conder Early Childhood Centre says it has been cleared of wrongdoing over a sleeping tablets incident, but the Education Directorate says it has yet to finish its...

Queanbeyan Council waives rates and fees for Mr Fluffy

asbestos sign

Emma Macdonald Queanbeyan City Council will defer rates and some essential services payments for homes affected by Mr Fluffy.

University of Canberra $1 billion campus redevelopment in writing

Getting a university degree is not the job ticket that it used to be.

Emma Macdonald The ACT government has signed a variation on the Territory Plan for the University of Canberra to proceed with its estimated $1 billion campus redevelopment.

Lengthy inquiry into cage for autistic student 'close' to completion


Emma Macdonald An inquiry into the decision-making process behind a Canberra school erecting a cage for a student with autism is 'close' to being released, ACT Education Minister Joy Burch says.

Parent had to ask childcare centre to call ambulance after kids took sedatives

An ambulance leaves a home in Gungahlin.   

The Canberra Times

Emma Macdonald Conder Early Learning Centre is under two separate investigations.

Children hospitalised after pills consumed in southside childcare centre

One of the three hospitalised children was kept for observation for two nights; the other two were discharged the same day.

Emma Macdonald ACT Police are investigating how three young children swallowed medication brought into a southside early childhood centre.

It survived the birth of Canberra but it won't survive Mr Fluffy

John MacKinnon has lived in Deasland, one of Canberra's oldest houses, for more than 40 years.

Emma Macdonald In 1890, on a grazing plain which spreads across what is now the Gold Creek Golf Course and the growing sprawl of Nicholls,  the beautiful homestead "Deasland" was built by Canberra pioneer...

30,000 Canberrans likely to be affected by release of Mr Fluffy addresses next week

Asbestos Response Taskforce head Andrew Kefford discusses progress in dealing with the Mr Fluffy problem outside the first house to be demolished, in Sternberg Crescent, Wanniassa.

Emma Macdonald An estimated 30,000 Canberra are expected to find out that they may have been exposed to Mr Fluffy asbestos as either former owners or renters of the 1021 homes confirmed to contain the toxic...

Mary MacKillop College PE teacher Jodie Higgins dies suddenly

Emma Macdonald Jodie Higgins, 35, who died suddenly last week, was a popular and long-standing member of the Mary MacKillop College staff.

ACT not about to means-test public education, minister Joy Burch says

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch says public education should always be free and available to all.

Emma Macdonald ACT politicians across the political divide have denounced any move to means-test public education as the government punts the issue to the states and territories

Former ANU administrator Colin Plowman dies

Former ANU registrar Colin Plowman at the university.

Emma Macdonald Australian National University is mourning the death of former registrar and assistant vice-chancellor Colin Plowman.

Strict rules to save heritage precincts from post-Fluffy McMansions

Mary Hutchison and her partner of 30 years Maureen Cummuskey.

Emma Macdonald Nineteen of Canberra's heritage homes have been caught up in the Mr Fluffy insulation crisis and will be demolished, with authorities promising strict rules to prevent McMansions springing up in...

Autism cage inquiry, how much will be revealed?

Emma Macdonald The circumstances surrounding how a 10-year-old boy with autism came to be contained within a cage in his primary school classroom may never be fully revealed to the public.

Education Minister Joy Burch expects autism cage inquiry to be completed within three weeks

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch is under pressure to expedite the inquiry into how the school came to erect the cage.

Emma Macdonald ACT Education Minister Joy Burch expects the autism cage inquiry will be completed within three weeks and defended the level of communication with the affected school.

Joy Burch abolishes independent education advice

Emma Macdonald ACT Education Minister Joy Burch has quietly abolished two independent and long-standing education advisory councils, and will delegate new advisors despite overwhelming opposition from across...

NSW Minister wants Murrumbateman school decision reviewed

NSW Minister for Women and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward: Children's educational futures are at risk by a lack of a primary school in Murrumbateman.

Emma Macdonald NSW Government Minister and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward says the lack of a school at Murrumbateman is risking the educational futures of children and the NSW Education Department needs to review...

Autism cage inquiry stalled

Opposition education spokesman Steve Doszpot said the delay was unacceptable.

Emma Macdonald Joy Burch hits back at claims that the inquiry into a student with autism being contained in a cage has been 'shambolic'.