Submission to the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, November 2017
The Community Council for Australia (CCA) welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australia Schools and is keen to engage in detailed discussion about any proposals arising from the Inquiry.
Improving what we do in education sits at the heart of realising better futures for our young people, our communities and our nation. We need to shift the way we provide educational opportunities and learning to ensure we are responding to the needs and circumstances of each individual child. We should be creating life-long learners, well-prepared to adapt and flourish in a fast-evolving world. ‘Student centred learning’ needs to be much more than a popular buzzword, and it needs to be expanded to recognise the need for increased parent and community engagement.
The starting point for reform is a strong, clear, agreed long-term vision and commitment across jurisdictions to guide all that we do. This must be supported by measures, accountability frameworks and transparency to focus our efforts and inform improvement. Until we become better at sharing data, building and using evidence, we will continue to perpetuate growing irrelevancy and run the risk of rewarding failure.
Schools and other educational institutions should never be islands, located in the heart of communities, but isolated and disconnected. Our educators and our school system need to work in partnership with families, carers and communities to address in-school and out-of-school factors that influence access to education, engagement, attainment and transition to meaningful post-school pathways.
To improve educational achievement, we need reform that recognises, embraces, facilitates and supports the role that families, carers, communities, business, charities and not-for-profit partners play in realising better outcomes for our young people. The not-for-profit sector want to be part of this reform, part of ensuring we live in flourishing communities where education opportunities are genuinely available to all.