My name is Yvonne Ries and I have recently commenced in the role of Deputy Executive Director – Education at LEQ. I was pleased for the opportunity to meet many of the principals and school council chairs at the recent LPAQ and Schools Assembly gatherings. The key areas the education team and I will be working with you include Identity and Formation, Learning and Innovation, Chaplaincy, Early Childhood Services, Outside School Hours Care and School Reviews. There are significant policy, legislative and funding developments occurring in all of these areas. A quick snapshot includes:
- Review of the Non-State Schools Accreditation Framework. This review is being led by Cheryl Vardon, the inaugural Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission. The review will examine if the current accreditation framework remains fit for purpose and if legislative changes are required to ensure a contemporary regulatory approach is taken to the accreditation of non-state schools. The terms of reference for the review can be found here.
- Implementation of Version 9 of the Australian Curriculum. In addition to recent workshops, QCAA has produced a range of resources to support schools in implementing the revised Australian Curriculum. Each school will plan implementation to meet its own unique context, noting Minister Grace’s direction that all schools will have fully implemented the curriculum by 2026. Resources and professional development opportunities can be found here. All Principals will receive an invite to a zoom meeting with QCAA for Wednesday 27 April to discuss updates in relation to support for implementation of Version 9 and status of review of senior secondary syllabus.
- ACCC and PC Inquiries into early childhood education. The evidence regarding the importance of quality early childhood education continues to grow and influence government funding and policy priorities. Given the significant investment made by governments in this area, the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority (ACCC) has been charged with conducting an inquiry into the market for the supply of childcare services. This Inquiry has required our early childhood services to provide a range of data to the ACCC as it considers costs and availability of labour, use of land, regulatory compliance costs, types of providers and child care services, quality rating of services and other key data points. The Inquiry will run throughout the year and the ACCC is due to provide its final report to the Australian Government by 31 December 2023. The terms of reference can be found here.
The Productivity Commission (PC) has also been charged with conducting an Inquiry into early childhood education and care. The focus of the PC Inquiry is to make recommendations regarding affordable, accessible, equitable and high-quality childcare that reduces barriers to workforce participation and supports children’s learning and development. A final report is due to the Australian Government by 30 June 2024. The terms of reference can be found here. Both the ACCC and PC Inquiries will make recommendations regarding future funding priorities and subsidies in relation to early childhood education which will have a direct impact on the business and financial models of our early years and OSHC services.
- ALRC Inquiry into Religious Education Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws. The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has been charged by the Australian Government to make recommendations regarding law reforms to ensure that educational institutions:
- do not discriminate against a student on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy;
- do not discriminate against a member of staff on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy;
- can continue to build a community of faith by giving preference, in good faith, to persons of the same religion as the educational institution in the selection of staff.
Lutheran Education Australia’s submission can be found here. Independent Schools Queensland’s submission can be found here. The ALRC is expected to provide its report to the Australian Government by 21 April 2023. The terms of reference can be found here.
- Other news in brief includes:
Teacher Education Expert Panel Discussion Paper, led by Professor Mark Scott, calls for submissions to inform advice to the Australian Government in relation to:
- strengthen ITE programs to deliver confident, effective, classroom ready graduates
- strengthen the link between performance and funding of ITE programs
- improve the quality of practical experience in teaching
- improve postgraduate programs to attract mid-career entrants
You can find the discussion paper here.
How to implement a Whole-School Curriculum Approach released by the Grattan Institute which claims it will assist in:
- Boosting staff morale
- Enhancing teacher quality
- Lifting student performance
You can find the Grattan Institute Guide here.
Deputy Executive Director – Education