Education Council meeting

The Education Council met in Adelaide on the last Friday of June, with ministers discussing a range of national issues across the early childhood and school education portfolios.

National School Reform Agreement

The ministers discussed the draft National School Reform Agreement. The draft has been developed through collaboration between the Australian Government, states and territories, but without formal involvement of the non-government sector.
Ministers agreed to a nationally consistent approach to national policy reform initiatives in the agreement, enabling each state and territory to adopt and adapt the reforms in bilateral agreements to suit their local context. The council supported in-principle the progress of the draft agreement, subject to:

  • further work and clarification on the costs, scope, milestones, and governance of each of the national policy initiatives and the principles underpinning the sharing of costs
  • progress towards bilateral agreements
  • further work on national measures including outcomes and sub-outcomes.

The Education Council will reconsider the agreement by its September 2018 meeting ahead of it being progressed to COAG for consideration in October. We will be writing to the Federal Minister to seek further information on how the agreement will impact Christian schools.

Ministers received an update on the recent NAPLAN Online program held in May which was considered a success. As a result, schools in all states and territories can expect to transition from paper-based to online assessments over the coming years.

Review of NAPLAN data presentation
The Education Council agreed to a review of NAPLAN data presentation, the terms of reference of which are relatively narrow but will be undertaken by an independent reviewer, with public submissions sought. A number of state and territory ministers advocated unsuccessfully for a broader review of NAPLAN but council noted the review of NAPLAN currently underway in Queensland.

National Review of Teacher Registration  
Ministers received an update on the National Review of Teacher Registration currently being progressed by AITSL. The update focused on the themes that emerged from national consultation with key education stakeholders. A further progress update will be provided at the next meeting in September 2018. 

Initial Teacher Education reform

The Education Council received an update on progress in implementing the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) reforms to initial teacher education. Ministers discussed the federated approach to accreditation and nationally consistent high standards that underpin the proposed reforms and agreed to recommendations aimed at achieving greater national consistency.