Communique – Education Ministers Meeting – Monday 27 February 2023

27 February 2023


Artificial Intelligence in schools

Ministers discussed the opportunities stemming from AI technologies, which are increasingly available in education settings. In response to the rapidly evolving technology landscape, Ministers agreed to develop an evidence-based, best practice framework to guide schools in harnessing AI tools to support teaching and learning. A taskforce, including experts, will be established to develop the framework and return to Ministers in 2023.

Early Childhood Education and Care

Ministers agreed on a consultation approach for a draft national Early Childhood Education and Care Vision that will support children’s education and development outcomes and parents’ workforce participation. The final vision will be presented to National Cabinet in the middle of 2023.

The Australian Government Minister for Early Childhood Education, the Hon Dr Anne Aly MP, presented for decision, initiatives that implement commitments in the Preschool Reform Agreement (PRA).

Education Ministers endorsed Principles that guide the development of a Preschool Outcomes Measure for trial, and approved the national methodology to measure preschool enrolment and attendance. EMM agreed to pursue a national research agenda in preschool outcomes.

National School Reform Agreement

Education Ministers endorsed the Terms of Reference for a review to inform the next National School Reform Agreement between the Commonwealth and states and territories, which will be released in coming weeks, subject to the Prime Minister’s approval. The next NSRA is due to take effect in 2025.

Teacher workforce

Ministers noted arrangements for implementing initiatives in the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan, including the development of a new campaign to raise the value of teaching and promote teaching as a career. Ministers renewed their commitment to practical action in 2023, and agreed to consider reforms that could be driven through the federal Teacher Workload Reduction Fund.

Professor Mark Scott AO, Chair of the Teacher Education Expert Panel, provided Ministers with an update on the work of the Panel, including plans to release a discussion paper in coming weeks.

Ministers asked the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership to work in consultation with the Expert Panel on how it might compact the timeframe of a Masters degree, including the feasibility of a 12-month program, without reducing quality and standards.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education

Professor Peter Buckskin presented to EMM on the progress made to establish a genuine partnership between community representatives and government on Indigenous education. Education Ministers agreed that heads of all Education departments (AESOC) and the soon-to-be-established National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Council would do further work on co-design. AESOC will report back to Ministers on progress at the next EMM.

School attendance

Ministers discussed national trends in school attendance. Attendance has been affected in recent years by the COVID-19 pandemic, recent floods, and fires; Ministers commissioned the Australian Education Research Organisation to investigate the causes of declining attendance and provide advice to Ministers on evidence-based approaches that support attendance.