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How you had YourSay:

Thank you for your feedback, this consultation is now closed for comment.

Since February 2017, the ACT Government has been having a conversation with the community about the future of schools and education in the ACT and how we can build strengths and tackle emerging challenges.

More than 5,000 people have shared their views, representing school communities, parents and carers, teachers, students, community organisations and the broader community.

We heard from you through:

  • comments shared on YourSay
  • email and mail submissions
  • social media
  • face-to-face conversations
  • postcards
  • graffiti walls
  • video booth submissions
  • fetes and community events

What we looked at:

The ACT is a high performing jurisdiction when it comes to educational outcomes and our schools have set generations of students up for great lives. The ACT has a great network of teachers and staff dedicated to ensuring that young people get the most out of school.

High performing education systems have a key thing in common: they make explicit their focus on equity. The life circumstances and background of a child showing up to school cannot be allowed to determine whether they will succeed or not.

It must also be acknowledged that some young people require different levels of support to achieve the same outcomes. It’s not about everyone getting the same; it’s about everyone getting what they need.

So the key question was around the best ways to pursue equity, and in particular what worked within our education system and what we could improve

The conversation occurred over two phases. During the first phase an open ended community conversation, over 8 months with 5,000 people, led to the identification of ten common themes. The ten themes were consolidated into four key foundations which were tested in the second phase with the community, who also provided some policy direction and actions underneath those foundations.

How we used your views:

In keeping with the community conversation approach to development of the Future of Education strategy, the ideas and actions that emerged in those conversations have driven and informed the final Future of Education strategy.

Community voice has been at the heart of the Future of Education community conversation, and whilst community feedback has guided the focus of the next ten years, the strategy itself is also firmly grounded in research and evidence.

To stay up to date, the strategy and all relevant information will be available at the Future of Education website.

Discussion board

Feedback received below from 2017 to 2018 has been taken into consideration to inform the final Future of Education strategy.

The Future of Education conversation has heard a lot from the community, families, school communities, teachers and staff.

See what we heard on YourSay:

10 August, 2018

dennisrebs says:

“Following are my observations 1. I can see kids having a great time at school till Year 6 and from Year 7 the pressure is too much to handle. Would prefer the ACT system incorporates systems and processes so that the kid understands the pressure from year 4 onwards and is not surprised in Year 7. 2. Kids avoid difficult subjects like Maths and science in Year 7 so that is easier to handle the pressure and have more social life. This is not good for the next generation. 3.While every child is unique, its important for the kids to understand that there are no shortcuts for education and University is a must for everyone. ACT government should have special incentives for kids who complete University education immediately after Year 12 .”

18 July, 2018

MakeCBRcool says:

“Children and teenagers do not learn basic skills to survive in the real world. How does a mortgage and compound interest work? How do we elect representatives and how do they represent us? How do STIs differ to pregnancy? What happens when you get a credit card - how do it affect you over your life? There needs to be comprehensive education which sets ALL children and teenagers up for life. Many of the above questions seem simple but they highly depend on who your parents are and what they teach you.”

16 June, 2018

MonashFamily says:

“As a born and bred canberran with a young family of my own, these are the things I'd love to see in ACTs education system in the future: - preschool starting a year earlier like in many european countries - indigenous culture and language studies for everyone! - refocus maths on real world maths skills such as understanding invoices, tax returns, super, loans & mortgages, ABN rules, savings acrual, budgeting for weekly and yearly expenses, risks of different get rich scams etc. - refocus matgs on coding and other skills the next generation of australians will use to get high paying jobs in emerging fields that will quickly become a mainstream job. - a greater exposure to other cultures and religions. Perhaps multiple blocks of language studies for a grater understanding of language AND culture. Perhaps preschool & kindy, 1-4, 5-8, 9-12 with 5-8 ideal for a greater emphasis on indigenous studies. - interpersonal skills and life skills, like looking at a situation from first second and third perspective, mindfulness, meditation, feelings ect. Perhaps as a daily exercise in home room? - more outside time. Perhaps during reading? - some self guided self paced work in special interest topic. ”

4 June, 2018

Fizzypop says:

“We need an education system that fosters and encourages curiosity in our children, enabling them to investigate topics of interest to them. Sadly, during their primary school years I watched my own children's enthusiasm for learning wane significantly from Kindergarten to Year 6. Not because they had bad teachers - their teachers were wonderful, caring and hardworking people! Rather, a system rut, with learning driven by curriculum content and students dragged along for the ride. We need a shift that embeds an inquiry approach, where our children can direct their own learning, supported by their teachers to investigate a topic of interest whilst learning vital life skills such as social competence, collaborative and creative problem solving, persistence and resilience. Our children need to learn how to find, critically evaluate and use information effectively to develop their own knowledge and understanding. Our schools need to engender a love for learning in our children, fostering an intrinsic motivation to learn. School libraries with qualified staff used to help teachers and students achieve these goals. Nowadays quality library services seem to have been lost in many schools, where principals have 'rationalised' their staff due to 'competing priorities'. Are teacher librarians really luxury items?”

22 May, 2018

shikhasachar says:

“We need an education system that encourages children to create and obtain joy out of the product of their imagination - instead of experiences from technology. We need an education system that encourages children to observe and question - and then observe some more so they are inspired to solve some of their own riddles, not a system that teaches them about the answers hiding in a book/Google all the time. Most important gift any Australian child can acquire from this sacred land is to understand and be able to recognise which land they live on and the background of the indigenous people who inhabited it. Teaching them the local aboriginal language/terms will not only give them a sense of pride and identity, but also embrace the world from all perspectives...the old and the new combined will drive the ideas for the future they choose to create. ”

21 May, 2018

LS88 says:

“I would like to see an education system that takes the our environmental issues head on. That teaches and applies sustainability to students and staff. That is not afraid to test new initiatives to reduce our footprint in our environment. That rather than simply recycling looks at where there are opportunities to reduce our footprint and embraces it. A system that looks at glass or natural fibres instead of plastic; electronic documents instead of papers; products that can be reused several times even if more expensive than the cheap and disposable equivalents. We need a system that values durability and sustainability over price; and a system that applies these ideas to the curriculum and to its business operations.”

10 May, 2018

chloe19 says:

“I believe that the current education system is changing for the better, for example the new chromebook roll-out to all public high schools, however, the schooling system is still very old-fashioned. It is well known that schools have been around for centuries, and unfortunately they haven't changed much in that time. Students are still being taught in ways that were designed to get people ready to work in factories, whereas in reality our future is changing to a much more flexible and technology-based world. We need to start actively preparing our students for this reality from primary school age, to ensure our future is safe and full of people who know enough about the world around them to make changes.”

21 April, 2018

jodie_green says:

“The collaboration between Health and Education department staff to deliver the Fresh tastes program to schools is great. Now, it must be fine-tuned so that it provides every school with the caring mindset, content and resources to guarantee students learn how to meet their complete nutritional needs especially when from low-income families. This guarantee needs to extend even to students who avoid meat, as many do on the basis of cost, in particular girls. A food or community garden in or near every school could go a long way towards supporting good nutrition as well as future life skills, with support given so that teachers don't have to try maintain it themselves, and so that the whole school and community values it. The key here is that it is something every school - and every child - has a right to learn how to do and benefit from, not just some. ”

10 March, 2018

martin_keast says:

“I think the ACT government needs to ensure that parental choice of schooling is a priority. You do many projects (eg the chromebooks for public schools) which exclude the non-government school sector where many families send their children. This effective bias towards monopoly one-choice schooling particularly affects poorer/low-income families who should be able to access schooling of their choice. You should provide scholarships for low income families to attend non-government schools if they wish - not everyone is happy with a secular schooling for their children and low-income parents have no options.”

1 March, 2018

krystle_prince says:

“After having to remove two of my children from the ACT school system last year and home school due to many many issues including injury the supports services (departments) really need a wake up call on dealing with issues, I phoned departments on many occasions, tried to work with the school who had excuse after excuse, and no action. A whole year of learning wasted the LSU was non existent, the individualised plans all but forgotten, yet they were happy to be funded and have my child sent home early. I complained to multiple departments and so on, and again after removing them to be given excuses and lack of responsibilities. Schools and management need to be held accountable for what happens to their students, every child in Australia should be entitled to an education and our school system is not meeting the basics let alone developing each child as an individual.”

2 February, 2018

cromptona says:

“The discussion of school hours is a debate that needs to be had. Schools should be open from 08:00 to 17:00 to accommodate pupils. Academic teaching obviously cannot be extended to this extended time but the opportunity for extra curricula activities would be immense (sports, arts, IT clubs, language clubs). This also gives the opportunity to to serve healthy breakfast and lunches. This change would provide immense support to working families. This doesn't have to mean longer teaching time for teachers but provides opportunities for additional educators to be employed.”

10 January, 2018

Susanh says:

“More support to students with the issues they are dealing with outside of school that create barriers to participation and learning. This support should be provided in the community service sector, working closely with schools. See this article for a teachers perspective http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-secret-to-better-school-results-is-outside-the-classroom-20180103-h0d69e.html”