Quality reforms to get Pearce students ahead

The Turnbull Government has committed to the most significant package of education quality reforms in a generation to drive excellence in Australia’s school students as part of its $73.6 billion student achievement plan.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, recently visited Ellenbrook Independent Primary School where Principal Dr Neil MacNeill and teachers are optimising the choices for their students through academic and non-academic development.

These quality education reforms mean that Pearce schools such as Ellenbrook Independent Primary School would stand to benefit from the extra $596 million the Turnbull Coalition government will allocate to WA schools between 2015-16 and 2019-20.

Mr Porter said while the additional funding was important, what was more important to the children of Pearce was the quality and evidence-based measures that the student achievement plan focussed on.

“The Turnbull Government’s additional money is focused on initiatives that are proven to lift student performance and results,” Mr Porter said.

“We know that while a strong level of funding support for each student matters, what you do with that funding matters more.

“That’s why we are saying to every family in Pearce that for our children to get ahead, we must focus on what matters most – evidence-based initiatives that make a difference to student achievement.

“The Turnbull Government’s student achievement plan will improve student outcomes in literacy, numeracy, and STEM subjects, teaching quality and encourage high performing teachers to work in disadvantaged schools.

The Turnbull Government’s student achievement plan includes reforms to:
• Have minimum proportions of trainee teachers specialise in literacy and numeracy.
• Use explicit literacy and numeracy instruction in all schools.
• Undertake a standardised Year 1 school assessment of students’ reading, phonics and numeracy skills to ensure the earliest possible interventions occur for students who need additional help.
• Provide annual reports to parents that identify literacy and numeracy attainment against national standards that will help monitor progress and identify problems.
• Set a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy skills for Year 12 school leavers.
• Ensure that, within a decade, students complete an English or humanities subject and a maths or science subject prior to attaining an ATAR.
• Set recruitment targets for teachers qualified in science, technology, engineering or mathematics subjects.
• Ensure all principals are certified before their appointment.
• Linking teacher salary progression to demonstrated competency and achievement against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, rather than just length of service.
• Requiring graduate teachers to achieve registration at the Proficient Level of the Professional Standards within three years.
• Incentivising high-performing teachers to work in disadvantaged schools.
• Expanding the Early Learning Languages Australia programme into the early years of schooling.
• Pursue school access and immigration reforms to fast track availability of teachers in key foreign languages.
• Improving career advice by working with industry and schools to develop a new National Career Education Strategy.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government will also give Pearce families more transparency about where funding is going and how effectively it is being used.

“While Bill Shorten has promised more money for schools, Labor is ignoring the decades of significant funding growth yet declining performance in our schools. The Coalition’s Student Achievement Plan is fully funded, affordable and linked to quality outcomes.

“The Turnbull Government knows that every tax dollar paid by hardworking Australians needs to be used as effectively as possible and our school reforms will seek to ensure this occurs in our schools so that students receive the quality outcomes they need to secure jobs in our new economy.”

Full reform priorities and further information is available at https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/quality_schools_acc.pdf