Education Ministers Meeting – Communiqué


Teacher Education Expert Panel

Ministers considered the report of the Teacher Education Expert Panel (the Panel) which makes
14 recommendations to strengthen the quality of initial teacher education (ITE) and support beginning teachers to successfully transition into the classroom.

Ministers were also briefed on the report by Panel Chair, Professor Mark Scott AO.

Ministers gave in-principle support to the Panel’s recommendations and agreed to progress some immediate actions to better prepare beginning teachers:

  • Develop national practical teaching guidelines by the end of 2023;
  • Amend accreditation standards and procedures by the end of 2023; and
  • Ensure core content is embedded in all ITE programs before the end of 2025.

Ministers thanked Professor Scott and the Panel for their work on the report.

Mobile Phones

Ministers made a national commitment to ban, restrict or manage the use of mobile phones and other personal electronic devices by students for personal use in government schools.

Ministers noted that the design of policy and approaches, and their implementation, is the responsibility of jurisdictions and the non-government sectors, and that:

  • Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory have already implemented bans or restrictions;
  • the Australian Capital Territory is currently reviewing their settings;
  • New South Wales is banning the use of mobile phones from the start of Term 4 in 2023; and
  • Queensland is building on the existing bans across 95 per cent of government schools to introduce a full statewide ban from Term 1, 2024.

Artificial Intelligence in Schools

Ministers discussed the work of the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Taskforce, which was tasked to develop an evidence-informed framework for Australian education systems and schools to guide the use of generative AI tools.

Ministers agreed that the National AI Taskforce will undertake consultation on a Draft AI Framework for Schools. This work will commence shortly and be brought back for final consideration by Ministers at the next EMM.

Vaping in Schools

Ministers agreed to work with Health Ministers on a national education campaign that focuses on educating young people on the harms posed by the marketing and use of e-cigarettes, and to involve students in the design of the campaign.

Ministers noted the current work underway at the Australian Government and at the state and territory level to combat vaping in schools, and agreed to continue to share experiences and best practice combatting vaping in schools.

National Teacher Workforce Action Plan: Implementation update

Ministers noted the progress on implementing the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan and thanked stakeholders for their collaborative efforts to date. Ministers noted the rollout of the first $4 million from the Workload Reduction Fund.

Ministers agreed to a proposal from the Australian Teacher Workforce Data Oversight Board to improve teacher workforce data. Ministers will receive further updates on implementation of the Action Plan at their next meeting.

Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System

Dr Lisa O’Brien AM, Chair of the Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System, provided a comprehensive update to Ministers on the progress of the Expert Panel’s activities to date. In depth meetings have been held with jurisdictions and stakeholders across the country, including visits to a number of schools. The Panel has also received the views of over 24,000 educators, parents/guardians and students who responded to a survey in May and June 2023.

On 5 July 2023, the Panel released a Consultation Paper, inviting interested parties to provide submissions to inform the development of its report. Submissions will be accepted until 2 August 2023. The final report is due to Education Ministers by 31 October 2023.

On 7 July 2023, Ministers and Panel members will meet with the Ministerial Reference Group, providing a further opportunity for stakeholders, including teachers and students, to have their say on what changes are required to drive real improvements in learning and wellbeing outcomes for students.

Community Expectations and Staff Safety

Ministers discussed the challenges facing teachers and school leaders to respond to increasing community expectations on them to address emerging social problems, while delivering their core role of providing a student-centred education. Ministers agreed to jurisdictions working with the Australian Education Research Organisation to deliver a literature review, and map out and share local best practice initiatives that seek to deliver multi-disciplinary support without adding to educator workloads, by the end of 2023.

Supporting Wellbeing of Principals and School Leaders

Ministers discussed the important role of principals and school leaders and asked the Australian Education Senior Officials Committee to come back to EMM with advice on ways to increase support for their wellbeing.


Early Childhood and Youth

Ministers agreed that a draft national Early Childhood Education and Care Vision that will support children’s education and development outcomes and parents’ workforce participation be presented to National Cabinet in August, with the intention of a final Vision being presented at the end of 2023, following further, targeted consultations including with First Nations stakeholders.

The safety and wellbeing of children remains a priority for all governments and a key objective of the National Quality Framework (NQF). At the request of the Australian Government, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority is undertaking a review of child safety arrangements under the NQF.


Preschool Reform Agreement

Ministers agreed to provide in-principle support to critical details relating to the development and trial of the new preschool outcomes measure, including the purpose of the measure, the design elements of the new national learning progressions and national tool, governance and data arrangements, and in what manner jurisdictions will participate in a national trial in 2025.