With the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools continuing to grab headlines in the media, it’s easy to see how some might be experiencing ‘review fatigue’ and starting to tune out of this important public conversation.
Among all of this noise, it’s easy to overlook that the Review is a great opportunity for all of us to have a say on how we can strengthen our education system and ensure students receive a quality education. This is a profoundly important and timely conversation that we need to have as a nation. What’s more, teachers and school leaders – the very people at the frontline of education – need to have their views and perspectives heard.
The outcomes of these conversations affect the future of every Australian child and have broader societal impacts for Australia’s future prosperity and social cohesion.
Over the past few months, the AITSL Board and the AITSL executive team have drafted recommendations of what we believe will have the most impact, based on evidence and research and what we see in Australian schools every day.
AITSL's Chair, Deputy Chair and members of the executive team also met with the Review panel to advance a number of recommendations and to discuss our position on key issues.
Following these discussions, the AITSL Board made a high-level submission to the Review panel. We wanted to share it with you.
Some of the high-level highlights of our submission are:
- Our recommendations clearly and unambiguously place student learning ‘front and centre’, guided by the belief and substantial evidence base that a high-quality education sets up our children for success.
- Our approach is focused on what can be done at a national, system and sector level to improve quality teaching (the biggest in-school influence on student learning) and school leadership (the second biggest in-school influence on student learning).
- We support investment that ‘unleashes’ teaching expertise, so that it is properly understood and shared across systems, sectors and geographic divides.
- We believe that the best results will be achieved by continuing to invest in what is working well and reducing the clutter and distractions that impede the primary role of educators – to improve student learning.
- AITSL proposes better and more structured career pathways for both teachers and school leaders.
- We recommend continued national efforts to drive teaching and leadership quality.
- We support strategies that empower teachers with the right tools and data insights to accurately identify individual student needs and act on those day-to-day learning moments in the classroom.
- We recommend building the public reputation of the profession so that the societal contribution of educators is valued and understood.
- We support strategies that ensure the profession continues to attract committed and high-calibre candidates, with the skills and personal attributes to make a difference to the lives and learning of their students.
I personally remain optimistic about what can be achieved.
AITSL works with teachers and school leaders every day. We meet exceptional professionals and see great teaching and school leadership in Australian schools. The AITSL website is full of quality Australian practice.
Our challenge is to discern and use the substantive evidence base about what makes the biggest impact for students, use our collective professional expertise, and invest to maximise student outcomes.