In a world where education defines opportunity, schooling must support every one of Australia’s 3.8 million school students to realise their full learning potential and achieve educational excellence.
Australian students should receive a world-class school education, tailored to individual learning needs, and relevant to a fast-changing world. They should be challenged and supported to progress and excel in learning in every year of school, appropriate to each student’s starting point and capabilities.
Schooling should enrich students’ lives, leaving them inspired to pursue new ideas and set ambitious goals throughout life.
Australia has a strong educational heritage and committed educators. Since 2000, however, academic performance has declined when compared to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, suggesting that Australian students and schools are not improving at the same rate and are falling short of achieving the full learning potential of which they are capable.
As a nation, we need to act now to raise our aspirations and make a renewed effort to improve school education outcomes.
Recognising excellence in education as a national priority, the Australian Government established the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools (the Review) in July 2017. Mr David Gonski AC chaired the Review, supported by an independent panel of experts drawn from different states, school systems and sectors.
The Review Panel was asked to recommend ways that Australia could improve student outcomes, return to being one of the top education systems in the world, and ensure that school systems and schools truly prepare Australia’s young people for an ever-changing world.
The Review has focused on identifying impactful and practical reforms that build on existing improvement efforts. Its recommendations and findings reflect extensive and valuable contributions to the Review from stakeholders and experts, through consultations and nearly 300 submissions. These stakeholders included teachers, principals, professional associations, teacher unions, parents and carers, school systems, state and territory governments, researchers, universities, community organisations and business and industry. Critically, the key reforms recommended in the Report featured strongly in the proposals put forward by these groups. Nationally, there is a very strong mandate and desire for change.