The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has agreed to develop a new schools reform plan for the 21st century, targeting disadvantaged school communities, improved teacher quality, greater accountabilities and boosting parental engagement.
The decision is the next step in the Rudd Labor Government’s Education Revolution.
It is a major plank of the historic COAG agreement reached in Adelaide yesterday, which outlines a productivity and participation agenda that spans early childhood to adulthood.
The agenda will be outcomes focused, transparent and reward improved performance. It will underpin the creation of a modern, productive and inclusive Australia.
At the centre of the schools reform plan is a National Partnership (NP) payment from the Rudd Government to States and Territory Governments for the delivery of better education outcomes from disadvantaged school communities.
The governments will work together to identify disadvantaged school communities. These school communities will then received well targeted and integrated support from government.
New targets will be written into the Specific Purpose Payments (SPP) to be negotiated with State and Territory Governments this year. The NP payment will be based on the outcomes achieved from those disadvantaged schools.
In addition, COAG has agreed to at least halve the gap for Indigenous students in Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates by 2020.
This is about giving every child the best possible chance in life and ensuring that we have a productive economy.
In an environment of co-operation, COAG agreed to develop strategies to progress the following policy directions:
- Improving teacher and school leader quality;
- High standards and expectations;
- Greater accountability and better directed resources;
- Modern, world class teaching and learning environments including information communication and technology (ICT);
- Integrated strategies for low socio-economic status (SES) school communities; and,
- Boosting parental engagement.
The COAG Working Group on the Productivity Agenda will work closely with the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) and the Catholic and Independent schools sectors to develop the next step in the Rudd Labor Government’s Education Revolution.