Federal Government to work with WA on education reforms

Stock image.
Stock image.

FEDERAL Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham says the Government will work with state and territories and non-government school systems on new education reforms this year, following a recent review of Australian schools.

A review panel chaired by businessman David Gonski released its Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Education Excellence in Australian Schools on April 30.

Recommendations include revising the structure of the Australian Curriculum over the next five years and develop a new online and on-demand student learning assessment tool.

Mr Gonski will brief state and territory education ministers at a special meeting of the Council of Australian Governments Education Council today.

Mr Birmingham said a new agreement between the Commonwealth and jurisdictions would be negotiated this year to come into effect from 2019.

“This is a landmark report, and it absolutely encourage schools to focus in on how you progress each and every student to their maximum capabilities, so that we shift the entire level of student performance and have more high achievers as well as fewer underachievers,” he said.

WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said while recommendations appeared positive, states and territories were required to implement them and questioned whether additional resourcing was needed.

“The biggest issue is that there is currently only a roll-over education funding agreement for one year between the State and Commonwealth governments, and the terms of the proposed funding going forward and the Commonwealth’s proposals for funding will disadvantage WA,” she said.

“Schools need certainty about how they are going to be funded.”

Mr Birmingham said Naplan, the annual national assessment for students, was constantly reviewed and refined and there had been several studies and reports as well as two Parliamentary committee inquiries.

“The Commonwealth, states and territories are focused on how delivering Naplan Online will provide faster results and tests that adapt to how students are performing,” he said.

“Naplan Online will provide an even clearer picture of how students are tracking in their learning to help parents and schools support them.”

WA Primary Principals’ Association president Ian Anderson said the association welcomed the report which had clear recommendations, and should bring positive outcomes for children if implemented correctly.

“They do challenge some of the structures currently in place across Australia, but now is the time to make the changes required to ensure that we are educating children for the future,” he said.

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