Schools and Education
Raising productivity is a key focus of COAG’s agenda, and education and training are critical to increasing the productivity of individual workers and the economy.
COAG is committed to improving education standards and the quality of schools. The education reform agenda is being implemented with unprecedented levels of investment in Australia’s schools, and is making an important contribution to promoting social inclusion and Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage, so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and work.
Improving Teacher Quality
Teacher quality and the strength of school leadership are the greatest school-based determinants of educational success.
All Australian Education Ministers have endorsed the National Professional Standards for Teachers, agreed to establish national accreditation of initial teacher education programs and endorsed the elements of the teacher registration to be made nationally consistent.
Building on this, the Commonwealth and States and Territories are working together to develop a National Partnership Agreement to recognise the best teachers in Australia through a reward payment scheme linked to the National Professional Standards for Teachers. A new national teacher performance and development framework is being developed to be introduced in schools across Australia from 2013. The framework will support all teachers to receive regular and constructive feedback on their performance each year, as well as opportunities for further professional development.
Better Information About Schools
In the 2008 National Education Agreement COAG members agreed the importance of publishing information about student outcomes and school performance. The My School website launched in January 2010 allows parents to compare the performance of their child’s school in literacy and numeracy testing with the national average and statistically similar schools. The second wave of the website was launched in March 2011, allowing for increased transparency on school funding and a greater ability to map school performance over time, and My School 3.0 was launched in February 2012. The website now allows parents and teachers to track how children have improved over time in the key areas of literacy and numeracy.
Working Towards a National Curriculum
In 2008, COAG endorsed the development of the Australian Curriculum as part of the National Education Agreement. When fully implemented, Australia will for the first time have a curriculum that will provide nationally consistent content and achievement standards for students across the country in all years of schooling. The Australian Curriculum has been written to equip young Australians with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to engage effectively with, and prosper in, a globalised world. The Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics, Science and History is already being rolled out to students up to Year 10. Consultation and drafting of the remaining subjects and year levels is continuing throughout 2012.