Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools

Media Release
  • Minister for Education and Training

The Turnbull Government has named the panel of experts that will lead a landmark inquiry into ensuring that record and growing levels of investment in schools boosts the results of Australian students.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools would be led by Mr David Gonski AC and a panel of seven eminent educators and policy experts.

Minister Birmingham said the Review would build on the Coalition’s quality reforms that had to date focused on strengthening the accreditation standards of teacher training courses, ensuring graduate teachers have literacy and numeracy skills amongst the top 30 per cent of the adult population and a ‘back to basics’ focus on phonics and numeracy teaching.

“Australia has so many fantastic schools and teachers, but across a range of domestic and international indicators our results are stagnating and in some cases, slipping,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This panel and the review will help lead a turning point in Australian education.

“We know how vital needs-based funding is for our schools and students and that’s exactly what the Turnbull Government’s recent reforms have delivered. We must now ensure we get maximum bang for our record investment, that needs-based funding helps lift performance across all schools and that credible evidence informs the use of the most effective programs and initiatives for our students across the country.

“With needs-based funding in place, schools and teachers will have the support they need as well as resources they can use to focus on the programs that are best suited to their students.

“This panel of experts brings together a wealth of knowledge from across Australia, blending individuals with practical classroom experience or school leadership roles with national leaders in public policy.  The experience of panel members stretches from overcoming challenges in regional and remote areas or disadvantaged and Indigenous communities through to a strong appreciation of the demands the modern economy will place on future school leavers. Their recommendations will be able to draw on that extensive experience and expertise.

“The Review panellists are ideal advisers on the best evidence-based practices for our students that will help guide how our schools and educators focus resources in classrooms.

“This Review will set a pathway to turnaround our stagnating and declining student performance and help to boost the preparedness of students for life after school. This is an opportunity to move past the funding debate that has dominated public discussion for so long and hone in on what Australia really needs to do in our homes, classrooms and beyond to give our students the best shot at success.

“I encourage states, territories, non-government school systems and all stakeholders to constructively engage with the Review, to think outside the square and seize the opportunity to shape the best possible educational opportunities for future generations.”

The panel conducting the Review includes:

  • Chair - Mr David Gonski AC
  • Dr Ken Boston AO
  • Mr Terrey Arcus AM
  • Dr Lisa O’Brien
  • Ms Valerie Gould
  • Dr Lee-Anne Perry AM
  • Ms Wendy Johnson
  • Mr Michael Roberts

Mr Gonski said he "welcomed the fact that the Turnbull Government has embraced needs based funding for schools in Australia."

"The review panel has a unique opportunity to assist in putting Australian schooling on a better path for success. I believe that the panel has an excellent balance of skills and backgrounds to work on quality reforms," Mr Gonski said.

The Review will report to the Prime Minister and Minister Birmingham by March 2018. It will examine evidence and make recommendations on the most effective teaching and learning strategies and initiatives to be deployed.

Further information about the Review and panel members is available at https://www.education.gov.au/review-achieve-educational-excellence-australian-schools

For more information

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