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ISQ Welcomes Gonski Blueprint for Education Reform

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) today welcomed the report of the David Gonski-led Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools and its blueprint for future education reform.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said the report’s central focus on student outcomes was paramount in achieving continuous improvement to Australian schooling.

“In its report, Through Growth to Achievement, the review panel urged the need for a national and bipartisan commitment to address the performance slippage of Australia’s school education system and in this context all governments and sectors of schooling must work collaboratively to have the greatest impact on lifting student outcomes,” Mr Robertson said.

“The report’s 23 recommendations across the key drivers of school improvement provide a comprehensive framework for such a national commitment,” he said.

Mr Robertson said independent schools would welcome the focus on supporting and valuing the teaching profession and empowering and supporting school leaders.

“These are key features of the independent sector and can be further built upon to create a world-class education system.”

Mr Robertson said the central agenda of the reforms to prioritise individual student achievement and learning gain suited the way independent schools operated, but would still require a concerted long-term effort across all schooling sectors.

He said the recommendation for a comprehensive review of senior secondary schooling would be problematic for Queensland given the changes currently being implemented to the state’s senior assessment and tertiary entrance procedures.

“However, we do need to heed the changing nature of future work skills and the increased retention of students to Year 12 to ensure that senior secondary is meeting the needs of students, employers and the community.”

ISQ welcomed the recommendation to develop an on-line student learning assessment tool for teachers, but urged some caution that further assessment burdens were not placed on schools already doing well in this area.

“Ensuring schools and teachers have maximum time to concentrate on the learning growth of their students was a strong theme throughout the review,” Mr Robertson said.

“We need to be careful that further layers of administration, compliance and accountability are not placed on schools,” he said.

Mr Robertson said ISQ looks forward to engaging with the Australian and Queensland Governments as they consider their policy responses to the review.

MEDIA CONTACT

Justine Nolan | 0428 612 315 | jnolan@isq.qld.edu.au

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