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Context

Schools in Australia have less favourable disciplinary climates in science lessons compared to other OECD countries, according to students’ reports in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, with an index of disciplinary climate of -0.19 (the OECD average index value was 0.00). Student truancy was higher than the OECD average: 29% of 15-year-olds reported skipping at least one day of school in the two weeks before the PISA 2015 test, compared to an average of 19.7%. However, students in Australia were more likely to report that their science teachers adapt their instructions more frequently than the OECD average, with an index of adaptive instruction of 0.2 compared to an average of 0.01 (OECD, 2016[1]).

The PISA 2015 index of instructional educational leadership (measuring the frequency with which principals report doing leadership activities specifically related to instruction) was among the highest reported by school leaders at 0.66 (the OECD average was 0.01) (OECD, 2016[1]). In 2017, teachers in Australia had more net teaching hours for general programmes than their peers in other OECD countries. Teachers annually taught 865 hours at primary level and 797 hours at lower secondary level, compared to averages of 784 and 696 hours, respectively (OECD, 2018[2]). According to principals’ self-reports in PISA 2015, schools have higher levels of autonomy over curriculum compared to the OECD average: 83.3% of principals reported that the school had primary autonomy over curriculum, compared to the OECD average of 73.4% (OECD, 2016[1]).

Lower secondary teachers earned 93% of the average salary of a full-time, full-year worker with tertiary education in 2016, which was more than the OECD average ratio of 91% (OECD, 2018[2]). According to the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018, 82.8% of teachers in Australia said that if they could choose again, they would still become a teacher; this was higher than the OECD average of 75.6%. Furthermore, 44.7% of teachers felt that the teaching profession was valued in society, compared to an OECD average of 25.8% in 2018 (OECD, 2019[3]).

According to school leaders’ reports in PISA 2015, school leaders in Australia are more likely than the OECD average to conduct self-evaluations of their schools (98.7% of students were in schools whose principal reported this, compared to the OECD average of 93.2%), and more likely than average to undergo external evaluations of their school (81.4% of students were in schools whose principal reported this, compared to the OECD average of 74.6%) (OECD, 2016[1]). However, teacher appraisal levels as reported in the earlier cycle of TALIS 2013 were lower than the average: 36% of all teachers had reported then having received a teacher appraisal in the previous 12 months, compared to the TALIS 2013 average of 66.1% (OECD, 2014[4]).

In 2017, school autonomy levels over resource management (allocation and use of resources for teaching staff and principals) were higher than the OECD average: 75% of decisions in Australia were taken at the school level, compared to the OECD average of 29%.

Annual expenditure per student at primary level in 2015 was USD 9 546, which was higher than the OECD average of USD 8 631. At secondary level, Australia spent USD 12 303 per student, compared to the OECD average of USD 10 010, while at tertiary level (including spending on research and development), Australia spent USD 20 344 per student, compared to the OECD average of USD 15 656.

In 2015, expenditure on primary to tertiary education in Australia as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) was 6%, which was above the OECD average of 5%. The proportion coming from private sources (including household expenditure, expenditure from other private entities and international sources) was more than twice as high as the OECD average (33.6% compared to the OECD average of 16.1%). Between 2010 and 2015, the relative proportion of public expenditure on primary to tertiary education decreased by 10.7 percentage points, compared to an OECD average decrease of 1.3 percentage points. During the same period, private expenditure increased by 30.8 percentage points, whereas the average increase across the OECD was 10.6 percentage points (OECD, 2018[2]).

Evolution of key education policy priorities

Australia’s key education policy priorities have evolved in the following ways over the last decade (Table 8.1).

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Table 8.1. Evolution of key education policy priorities, Australia (2008-19)

Identified by

Selected OECD country-based work, 2008-191

Evolution of responses collected by the Education Policy Outlook, 2013-192

School improvement

The OECD identified the challenge of an ageing vocational education and training (VET) teacher labour force as well as inefficient training package development and implementation processes. OECD evidence also stressed the need to establish strategies to strengthen the linkages to classroom practice. [2008; 2011]

Australia had reported a commitment to improving the quality of initial teacher education and to providing continued support for the professional development of teachers and school leaders with a focus on improving student outcomes. These priorities prevail. A recently reported priority is to work with states and territories so that teachers select high-quality professional learning to maintain currency of practice, enhance professional growth and have a positive impact in the classroom. Priority is also put on school leaders’ role in building a professional learning community in their school, focused on continuous improvement, and identifying and implementing teacher professional learning opportunities aligned with staff learning plans and school priorities. [2013; 2016-17]

Evaluation and assessment

OECD evidence underlined weaknesses and gaps in the relevant data available. The OECD found a need for greater consistency in evaluation and assessment practices across jurisdictions (and school sectors), capacity building and better-defined articulations between teacher appraisal and student assessment. [2008, 2011, 2016]

Australia reported that clearer evaluation and assessment on how schools can improve remains a key priority. In the same way, Australia has worked to harmonise its different regulatory frameworks in early childhood education and care (ECEC). [2013, 2016]

For the VET system, the OECD found that the division of responsibilities between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments is unclear. The involvement of both the federal and state governments in education adds further complexities and challenges to implementing reform. [2008; 2014]

Australia reported the ongoing challenge of increasing the clarity of policies within the decentralised education system. [2013]

Funding

The OECD found that for VET, the principles underpinning funding are neither apparent nor consistent with human capital policies and principles. Considerable state-Commonwealth overlap is also found in the regulation and funding of VET. An additional challenge identified was the complex and opaque funding arrangements and concerns about the efficiency of service provision that result from the shared responsibilities in schools. [2008; 2014]

Australia reconfirmed a need to increase the clarity of funding within the decentralised education system. [2013]

Notes:

1. See Annex A (OECD publications consulted).

2. See Reader’s Guide (years and methods of collection).

Institutions

Selected education policy responses

School improvement

  • In Australia, under the Australian Education Act 2013, school funding is linked to educational reform. States and territories have to enter into agreements with the government to receive funding.

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Progress or impact: Following up on the 2013 Students First and Quality Schools, Quality Outcomes, the Australian Government announced its Quality Schools package (2017) and introduced the enabling legislation, the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017. The bill was successfully passed by the Commonwealth Parliament mid-2017, amending the Australian Education Act (2013) to enable the government to deliver record levels of school recurrent funding from 2018 to 2027 (National information reported to the OECD). All Australian governments developed a new National School Reform Agreement that came into effect in 2019. It is a joint commitment between the Commonwealth, states and territories to provide high-quality and equitable education for all students. It also includes a requirement for an annual public report from the Education Council to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) outlining progress towards implementation, with the first progress report due in late 2019. The National School Reform Agreement was informed by the findings and recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools (Government of Australia, 2018[5]), the Independent Review of Regional, Rural and Remote Education (Government of Australia, 2019[6]) and the STEM Partnerships Forum (National information reported to the OECD).

  • The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL, 2010) has aimed to clarify the roles of the teaching and school leadership profession through the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Teacher Standards, 2013), and the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (the Principal Standard, 2011). The Teacher Standards are a public statement of what constitutes teacher quality, and what teachers should know and be able to do at different career stages across four proficiency levels: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead. The Principal Standard also specifies four proficiency levels, aiming to provide examples of practice for each focus area (AITSL, 2019[7]).

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Progress or impact: A 2016 evaluation of the Teacher Standards found that as soon as awareness is established among the teaching body, a positive attitude towards the standards develops, which then fosters use and knowledge of the standards (AITSL, 2016[8]). One of the results is then that positive experience with the standards leads to improved attitudes and knowledge, which then contributes to further implementation. It was also found that it needs ongoing strategies and overall support to ensure sound implementation and sustainable change. The AITSL has been the driver of implementation and utilisation of the standards. However, the standards have to be installed throughout the entire education sector to allow for further reform development and continuation, which requires the backing by all education stakeholders (AITSL, 2016[8]). The standards have underpinned other policy efforts undertaken to improve the quality of teaching and school leadership, such as the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework (2013); the Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders (2013); and Leading for Impact: Australian Guidelines for School Leadership Development (2018) (National information reported to the OECD and (AITSL, 2018[9])).

  • The Teach for Australia (TFA, 2009) programme aims to help improve teacher quality and student outcomes in disadvantaged schools, address teacher shortages and develop effective school teachers. TFA recruits high-performing graduates (called associates) and fast-tracks them into disadvantaged secondary schools. On completion of the programme, associates receive a Master’s of Teaching qualification. During the programme, associates receive support from teaching advisors and mentors who are expected to provide frequent classroom observation and feedback.

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Progress or impact: Between 2009 and 2018, the Teach for Australia programme expanded from one jurisdiction (Victoria) to five jurisdictions (the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania) at its peak. The programme has also steadily increased the number of associates placed in schools (125 in 2018). In 2016, the government committed an additional AUD 20.5 million to finance the placement of up to 315 associates, as part of cohorts nine and ten, in secondary schools from 2018 to 2021 (Government of Australia, 2016[10]). Two independent evaluations of the TFA programme indicate that it produces high-quality teachers and has a positive impact on participating schools (Government of Australia, 2016[10]). The most recent 2017 report found that the programme attracts top talent and associates provide skills that schools need, especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Overall, improvements should be made to further align the programme to the government’s objectives. An example on how this has so far been addressed is, in 2018, the government announced that for 2020 and 2021 employment-based pathways into teaching would be funded through an open and competitive tender process known as the High Achieving Teachers Program.

  • In Australia, a national approach to the accreditation of initial teacher education programmes aims to ensure programme quality across the country. The 2014 Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) Action Now: Classroom-Ready Teachers report identified several areas for improvement in initial teacher education. Since 2015, AITSL has led the implementation of the government’s response to the report’s recommendations. Implementation is a collaborative undertaking involving states and territories, higher education providers, teacher regulators, relevant experts and the non-government sector. Reforms concentrate on: 1) improved quality assurance of teacher education courses; 2) a more rigorous selection for entry to teacher education courses; 3) improved and structured practical experience for teacher education students; 4) robust assessment of graduates to ensure classroom readiness; and 5) national research and workforce planning capabilities (Government of Australia, 2018[11]).

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Progress or impact: The Australian Government allocated AUD 16.9 million from 2015–16 to 2018–19 to implement its response to the TEMAG report to improve initial teacher education and preparedness for teaching (Government of Australia, 2018[11]). In 2015, all education ministers agreed to revisions to the Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programs in Australia: Standards and Procedures to give effect to the majority of the TEMAG recommendations, including: 1) requirements relating to the selection of entrants to teacher education and the use of the national literacy and numeracy test; 2) new requirements for all primary teaching students to complete a subject specialisation; 3) a greater focus on building partnerships and communication between initial teacher education providers and schools for improved professional experience; 4) a final year classroom teaching performance assessment; and 5) requirements for providers to demonstrate the impact of their programmes on pre-service teacher performance and the new teacher’s impact on their students. Initial teacher education providers are required to consider the impact of their programmes as well as aspects such as: being evidence-based; showing continuous improvement; striving for flexibility, diversity and innovation. Two integrated elements support the national accreditation system: the Graduate Teacher Standards (graduate career stage of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers), and the Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programs in Australia: Standards and Procedures (National information reported to the OECD).

Evaluation and assessment

  • The national framework for teacher registration (2011) shapes the current approach to registration in Australia. The framework is underpinned by the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Teacher Standards), a public statement of what constitutes teacher quality and what teachers should know, and be able to do, at different stages across their careers (Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead) (AITSL, 2018[12]). The framework includes a set of eight elements common to the registration processes and requirements of each state and territory. These elements include an initial and fixed period of registration, alternative authorisation to teach, discipline and de-registration, suitability, qualifications, English language proficiency and mutual recognition across states and territories. All eight elements of the framework were reviewed as part of the National Review of Teacher Registration (AITSL, 2018[12]). In 2017, all education ministers agreed to a National Review of Teacher Registration to identify ways to build on, and further strengthen, teacher registration in Australia. The review considered how the current national registration framework is operating, including all elements of the framework as they relate to consistency and best practice, as well as challenges and barriers to successful implementation. An additional consideration was the extent to which the Teacher Standards are used within regulatory arrangements and appraisal procedures to drive teacher quality and how to strengthen them further. The review also covered the registration of early childhood teachers and vocational education and training teachers in schools.

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Progress or impact: The National Review of Teacher Registration report, One Teaching Profession: Teacher Registration in Australia, was published in 2018 (AITSL, 2018[13]). All education ministers agreed that the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership would, in consultation with key stakeholders, develop an implementation plan for the report’s 17 recommendations, according to national information reported to the OECD; see also (AITSL, 2018[14]; Education Council, 2018[15]) for the specific recommendations to strengthen teacher registration.

At the time of writing this report, the finalisation of the plan is set for late 2019. In the interim, the focus was put on implementing the review’s priority child safety recommendations 9, 10 and 11 that link to the work of the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (National information reported to the OECD).

  • In Australia, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN, 2008) nationally monitors student performance, assesses students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.

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Progress or impact: In 2018, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy test was applied for the first time to students in an online format, and nearly 20% of students took the test in this modality (NAPLAN Online 2017-18) (NAP, 2018[16]). The goal is to do online assessments with the majority of students by 2020 (Australian Government, 2019[17]). A 2018 review of Australian schools identified limitations of the current assessment tools or tests as only a few aim to measure individual student learning over time (Boston et al., 2018[18]). According to the review, Australia faces the challenge of providing timely information at the classroom level that can show not only student achievement, but also individual student learning progress, to help teachers, as well as provide more detail on steps to improve student learning and outcomes (Boston et al., 2018[18]).

Systems

Selected education policy responses

Governance

  • The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA, 2011) is an independent national quality regulator that focuses on vocational education and training (VET) at the tertiary education level, with its operations established under the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act (NVETR, 2011). The ASQA seeks greater national consistency and increased rigour in registering training providers, accrediting courses and monitoring the quality of the VET sector. To ensure VET sector quality, the ASQA aims to identify two kinds of risks: systemic risks that are likely to exist across the sector or in a portion of providers, and the risk an individual provider might present through specific choices and actions.

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Progress or impact: A 2017 review indicates that the Australian Skills Quality Authority has monitored over 4 000 registered training organisations (RTOs), by regulating their entrance to, continuation in, or exit from the market. These included private providers, technical and further education (TAFE) institutes and community education providers, as well as universities, schools, and enterprise providers (Braithwaite, 2018[19]). In 2017, the Australian National University also led an independent review of the ASQA and its underpinning NVETR Act 2011. This review identified the ASQA and NVETR as a helpful start to establishing a VET regulatory framework to clean up abuses in the system (for example, prevent unconscionable contracts between RTOs and students that placed learners at a serious disadvantage), as well as reducing overlaps and duplication across Australia. The review also acknowledged the complex and challenging environment in which the ASQA performs its role. At the same time, it advised ASQA to continue transforming its philosophy and practice, develop broader partnerships with informal regulatory forces, and make improvements in the provision and use of data as means of improvement (Braithwaite, 2018[19]).

  • Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA, 2011) is an independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency. Its role is to ensure that higher education providers meet minimum standards, promote best practice and improve the quality of tertiary education for all students (TEQSA, 2017[20]). By complying with three regulatory principles (regulatory necessity, reflecting risk and proportionate regulation) the agency aims to support the alignment of the system with the population’s social and economic needs (TEQSA, 2017[21]). The Higher Education Standards Framework is the basis for TEQSA’s regulation of higher education providers and courses (Department of Education and Training, 2018[22]).

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Progress or impact: The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency obtained an additional AUD 24.3 million over four years in the 2018–19 government budget to strengthen TEQSA’s regulatory oversight, meet the significant increase in applications for registration from prospective providers, and maintain the country’s reputation for high-quality higher education. This measure also provides TEQSA with additional resources of AUD 1.1 million in 2018-19 and AUD 660 000 annually (ongoing) to crack down on contract cheating. TEQSA had 172 registered higher education providers, as of March 2019 (TEQSA, 2019[23]). According to the third TEQSA Stakeholder Survey (2017-18), 71% of provider principal contacts rated its performance as “good” or “excellent”. This is a decrease from 80% in 2017 and 82% in 2016, although it remains high. Providers indicated that TEQSA was performing well on matters relating to “conference, quality and relevance of guidance materials and regulatory information”. Respondents that “streamlining, speed of response, consultation and case management for all and CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students) applications” be improved, and signalled the need to develop relationships through “engagement and visits”. The survey was sent to 235 higher education provider contacts and 42 relevant peak, professional and student bodies (PPSBs) with a response rate of 156 principal contacts (66%) and 24 PPSBs (57%) (TEQSA, 2019[24]).

  • Australia’s Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations (IGAFFR, 2009) is the framework for collaborating on policy development and service delivery and facilitating the implementation of economic and social reforms in areas of national importance, including the education and skills sectors. It aims to set clearer responsibilities for each level of government, reducing Commonwealth prescriptions on service delivery to states and allowing for greater flexibility. The IGAFFR is overseen by the Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) within the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and is the principal mechanism for the transfer of funds from the Commonwealth to state and territory governments (COAG, 2012[25]). Under the IGAFFR, the Commonwealth, states and territories co-ordinate to define national and regional objectives and outcomes using National Agreements (NAs) and National Partnership Agreements (NPs) (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2016[26]).

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Progress or impact: Some recent reports that evaluated the impact of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations, the Council of Australian Governments, and National Partnership Agreements showed mixed results on Australian students meeting national minimum standards for literacy, but significant improvement in Years 3 and 5 for literacy, and Years 5 and 9 for numeracy (Australian Government Productivity Commission, 2017[27]). It was also reported that between 2008 and 2017, there was a 12.1 percentage point decrease in the proportion of VET graduates aged 20-64 years with improved employment circumstances after training (Australian Government Productivity Commission, 2017[27]).

Further measures taken under the umbrella of the National Partnership Agreements are the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education with annual to multi-annual agreements taken since 2009 (Government of Australia, 2019[28]). A 2014/15 review of the agreements identified shortcomings in the achievement on the benchmarks on quality and accessibility (Deloitte, 2015[29]).

The new Child Care Package, fully implemented by 2018, intends to address shortcomings identified in a 2014/15 review. The package undergoes ongoing review and evaluation, including a post-implementation review following 2018-19 and an impact evaluation undertaken between 2020 and 2023, according to national information reported to the OECD.

  • The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008) articulates nationally consistent future directions and aspirations for Australian schooling (Australian Education Ministers, 2008[30]). Objectives include: promoting equity and excellence in primary and secondary schools, and ensuring that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. The declaration recognised that achieving these educational goals is the collective responsibility of governments, schools, businesses, community members and young Australians. Together with these different actors, all Australian governments committed to the support of action in inter-related areas such as supporting quality teaching and school leadership, strengthening education and transitions at all levels and improving education outcomes for minority and disadvantaged students (Australian Education Ministers, 2008[30]).

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Progress or impact: According to the 2016 National Report on Schooling, the actions following from the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians led to a 9% increase in student enrolment between 2009 and 2016. By 2016, almost 3.8 million students were enrolled in primary and secondary education. In addition, the proportion of 20-24 year-olds who had attained Year 12 or equivalent rose from 84% to 90% between 2011 and 2016. By 2016, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) students made up 5.5% of the total population enrolled in schools. At least 65.4% of Indigenous students enrolled in school that year, and most (83.9%) attended government (state) schools (ACARA, 2016[31]). In 2018, all Australian Education Ministers agreed to review the declaration to develop, in 2019, a contemporary national declaration on educational goals for all Australians, including a wide-ranging consultation phase (National information reported to the OECD).

Funding

  • The Australian Government 2018 recurrent funding model is based on recommendations of the Review of Funding for Schooling (2011). Recommendations included implementing needs-based funding that is independent of sectoral difference and targeting resources to support the most disadvantaged students (OECD, 2015[32]). In accordance with the Australian Education Act 2013, recurrent funding for government and non-government schools is determined on the same basis with reference to a Schooling Resource Standard (SRS), consisting of base funding for every student and loadings for disadvantage faced by a school or its students. For most non-government schools, the base funding is discounted based on the capacity of the school community to contribute towards the school operating costs (CTC). The loadings target students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with low English proficiency and students with a disability, as well as small schools and schools in regional and remote areas (OECD, 2015[32]).

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Progress or impact: The Australian Government will invest an additional AUD 79.3 billion in recurrent funding for schools between 2018-29 (from a 2017 base), bringing the total Commonwealth recurrent investment to AUD 307.7 billion for the same period. In 2018, the government introduced new arrangements for school funding, aiming to move all schools to truly needs-based funding by 2029. These arrangements continue to use a Schooling Resource Standard based on recommendations from the 2011 Review that includes a base amount per student (for most non-government schools it is discounted by the CTC) and additional funding for disadvantage (Gonski et al., 2011[33]).

The CTC methodology was recently reviewed by the National School Resourcing Board. Recommendations were provided to use from 2020 newly available data integration capability to determine the CTC using a direct measure of the income of parents and/or guardians of students at a school. In response, the government announced that they would consult with stakeholders on final policy settings before implementing the measure from 2020. This more targeted measure will aim to ensure that students with greater disadvantage attract higher levels of funding from the Commonwealth for their schools.

The new arrangements will increase Commonwealth funding from an average of 17.5% of the SRS for government schools in 2017 to 20% in 2029 (reflecting its role as a minority public funder of this sector). Funding for non-government schools will also increase from an average of 78.8% in 2017 to 80% in 2029. State and territory governments will also be required to deliver their share of total public funding for schools. The 2018 Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools suggests three priorities for the investment of funding to improve Australian schools’ performance, and grow student achievement (Government of Australia, 2018[34]). The Commonwealth, states and territories should ensure that each student achieves at least one year of growth every school year; that education institutions equip students with necessary skills to be creative, connected and engaged learners in the changing world; and that teaching and leadership practices lend themselves to adaptive, innovative and continuously improving education systems (Government of Australia, 2018[34]).

Additional education policies of potential interest to other countries

Governance

  • The Australian Government reports annually to Parliament on progress in closing the gap in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The 2019 Closing the Gap Report found that the target to halve the gap in Year 12 attainment or equivalent rate of Indigenous students by 2020 was on track. The gap has narrowed from 36 percentage points in 2006 to 24 percentage points in 2016 across the country. The share of Indigenous students at or above national minimum standards has improved, and the gap has narrowed between 2008 and 2017. In particular, the share of Indigenous students at or above minimum standards in Years 3 and 5 reading, and Years 5 and 9 numeracy, increased by around 11-13 percentage points, which is statistically significant (National information reported to the OECD and (Government of Australia, 2019[35])).

  • Australia’s Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is a national authority established under Education and Care Services National Law Act (2010) to support the administration of the National Quality Framework, which provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for ECEC and outside-school-hours care services across Australia. It aims to ensure consistent implementation across all states and territories and raise quality by driving continuous improvement and consistency in education and care services. The ACECQA publishes annual progress reports on the progression of the National Quality Framework (ACECQA, 2018[36]).

  • The Australian Government supports and promotes parental engagement through a number of initiatives: 1) the Learning For Life Program Expansion (2016-17 to 2019-20); 2) the Learning Potential app and website (2015); 3) the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Parent Engagement Project (2014-19); and 4) the funded national parent bodies (National information reported to the OECD).

Funding

  • The National Partnership on Improving Teacher Quality (2009-13) provided AUD 550 million to states and territories with AUD 50 million allocated to professional development and support to school principals. The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL, 2010) was established to progress work under this national partnership, which concluded in 2013. Although evidence of impact varied depending on the state or territory, many, if not all, agreed that this partnership had resulted in improved professional and leadership development resources for teachers and school leaders across all education sectors of schools. Support programmes for teacher mentors and/or consultants were found successfully implemented in many school networks. It was also found that the partnership allowed states and territories to increase resources for pre-service teachers, initial teacher education and support, and support to teachers and school leaders in “hard to staff” areas. Teacher marketing and recruitment strategies benefited from the partnership (Government of New South Wales, 2013[37]; Government of Northern Territory, 2013[38]; Government of Australian Capital Territory, 2013[39]; Government of South Australia, 2013[40]; Government of Western Australia, 2013[41]; Government of Queensland, 2013[42]; Government of Tasmania, 2013[43]; Government of Victoria, 2013[44]).

  • The Quality Schools’ package (2017) covers funding and reform arrangements and provides estimated recurrent funding of AUD 17.5 billion in 2017 to AUD 32.4 billion in 2029 (Government of Australia, 2018[45]). The funding for the package is tied to the Schooling Resource Standard, based on recommendations of the 2011 Review of Funding for Schooling, and will be fixed to evidence-informed reforms (Government of Australia, 2019[46]).

More information is available at http://www.oecd.org/education/policyoutlook.htm.

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