Government promises quality education for all
The Federal Government’s National Plan for School Improvement is set to become a reality after the introduction of the Australian Education Bill 2012, enshrining the Federal Government’s ambitious target of being n the top five school nations in the world for reading, science and maths by 2025.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the Bill will ensure that all Australian children will have access to the high-quality, high-equity education.
The Bill will also introduce key recommendations regarding school funding featured in the Gonski Review, which Ms Gillard said will lead to a significantly fairer model of funding.
The new funding arrangements will include a benchmark amount per sudent, with extra funding for students and schools facing educational disadvantage. Ms Gillard said that all schools will see an increase in funding under the new model.
The Australian Education Bill sets out the core reform directions of the National Plan for School Improvement:
- Quality teaching – making sure we have the best and brightest teachers in our classrooms
- Quality learning – including a world-class curriculum, a safe school environment and individual support for students
- Empowered school leadership – giving principals more say over how they run their schools
- Better information – giving the community more detailed information on schools and their performance
- Meeting student need – more help for disadvantaged students and schools
Ms Gillard also said that the Bill takes into account the findings of the recently released Asian White Paper, giving students significantly increases exposure to Asian studies across the curriculum.
“If we want Australia to remain strong and prosperous, and if we want our children to be able to take advantage of the opportunities the Asian century will bring, then governments, schools and the community must work together to improve our schools,” Ms Gillard said in a statement.
“The next step is to build on these reforms with a national plan that will deliver fair funding and better results for every school and every student.”
Ms Gillard said the Government will now seek to reach an agreement with states and territories, and the non-government sector, in early 2013 to see the Bill come into effect by 2014.