My weekend in Melbourne
Kia ora everyone!
I hope you are all having a great week and looking forward to Waitangi weekend.
I would like to take this opportunity to report back on my trip to Melbourne over the weekend where I attended the joint Cabinet meeting between the New Zealand and Australian Governments, and met with Australian Federal Minister for school education, early childhood and youth, Peter Garrett and Victorian State Minister of Education Martin Dixon.
The meetings were very useful. New Zealand and Australia are facing many similar issues. In some areas we have gone further than them and there are many areas where we can learn from them.
For example, Australia has made significant strides with high transparency about school performance through the My School website http://www.myschool.edu.au/
This makes a wide range of information about a school available to parents, educators and policy makers. It is not a league table but a way for parents to find out more about individual schools. It also provides contextual information about a school as no two schools are the same.
While we already have a very transparent framework here, what I want to now see is a lifting of the accountability at each point of that framework so that we get better results.
Raising achievement for all students, particularly those groups who historically have not been served by the system, is our Government’s overarching priority. Having a transparent framework will help us to do that.
Raising achievement for all students, particularly those groups who historically under perform is our Government’s priority. Having a transparent framework will help us to do that.New Zealand and Victoria have similar sized education systems and the Victorians are moving to a much more autonomous system placing more control in the hands of schools boards. New Zealand is already well down this path with having one of the most devolved education systems in the world.
The importance of teacher effectiveness was also raised at both meetings, highlighting the key role teachers’ play in raising achievement levels.
We also discussed the Gonski Report – a review of the education funding system across both state and federal systems and the use of technology in schools.
Overall it was a worthwhile trip and great to hear how our Australian counterparts are tackling the challenge of raising achievement over there.
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