The release today of the OECD’s Education Policy Outlook in Australia further underlines the need for serious education reform in all areas of Australia’s education system.
It confirms the equity issues and teacher workforce challenges we face, particularly in early childhood education and school classrooms.
While the report shows we have a good education system by international standards, we know that it should be a lot better and a lot fairer.
The report provides a valuable international perspective and will inform future reform efforts, including the review into the next National School Reform Agreement (NSRA) led by Dr Lisa O’Brien.
It shares common themes with the Productivity Commission’s final report on the NSRA, which was scathing in its criticism of the current agreement.
The current school agreement lacks key targets and, most importantly, the real practical reforms that we need to tie future funding to.
The next agreement will fix this. We will ensure future funding is tied to reforms that will make a real, practical difference.
If you’re a child today from a poor family, or from the bush, or you’re an Indigenous child, then you’re three times more likely to fall behind at school. We must turn this around.
The report also confirms that we have great teachers who are viewed positively by their students, but we don’t have enough of them and too many are leaving the profession early.
The NSRA review, along with Professor Mark Scott’s review into how teaching is taught at universities, will build on the work already underway under the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan.
Finally, the report highlights the importance of our Cheaper Child Care measures, which will see early childhood education and care become more affordable for 1.2 million families from July, while also providing additional hours of subsidised care to Indigenous children.
The OECD report can be found here.