More than four million students head to school from this week

More than four million Australian students head to school at around 9700 schools all around the country from this week. 

This year there are around 320,000 students going to school for the first time. A similar number of students will transition from primary to high school. 

Around 235,000 will enter their final year of school education and the challenges that brings. 

It is an exciting time for students. It will be exciting and daunting for parents and carers too. 

There will be many new teachers starting their careers in education this year. 

Attracting, training, preparing, supporting and retaining teachers – at all stages in their careers – is critical to our education system’s future strength. 

Implementing our National Teacher Workforce Action Plan is a top priority for 2023. Elevating the status of the teaching profession is a key part of that. 

This year will also see the start of development of the next National School Reform Agreement. 

I wish all students and teachers, both new and returning, all the best for the year ahead. 

Public schools return from today in Queensland; from 30 January in South Australia, the ACT, and Victoria; from 31 January in New South Wales and the Northern Territory; from 1 February in Western Australia; and from 8 February in Tasmania.