Education Minister John Gardner has welcomed the signing of the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration, along with a host of outcomes and actions from the final Education Council meeting of 2019.
The Declaration aims to help all young Australians realise their potential by delivering education systems that promote excellence and equity, to empower our young people to become successful lifelong learners and be active and informed members of the community.
It recognises that early childhood is critical in giving every child the best possible start in life, reinforces the importance of literacy and numeracy in the early years of school as the foundation for future learning, and commits to ensuring the development of creative and critical thinking skills.
“I welcome the signing of a new national declaration on educational goals for all young Australians, which sets out a strong vision for education in Australia,” said Education Minister John Gardner.
“I am looking forward to working with other jurisdictions to ensure that all young Australians are supported in navigating their education, from the early years right through to employment.
“I also welcome the Commonwealth Government’s announcement that it will fully fund the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). This is important for improving and maintaining high standards for early childhood education programs across Australia.
“I strongly support the Education Council’s commitment to support the high quality teaching of reading instruction, including phonics, in initial teacher education programs.
“South Australia has led the nation as the first state to deliver the Phonics Screening Check for all Year 1 students in government schools, and we have seen significant improvements in results in just its second year, along with a renewed emphasis on phonics instruction in our schools.
“We welcome the immediate acceleration of a review of the Australian Curriculum for Years Foundation-10, with a particular emphasis on mathematics.
“I am also pleased to see progress being made towards Gonski measures including the development of Unique Student Identifier, commitment to establish the National Evidence Institute and endorsement of further work on the Learning Progressions and Formative Assessment initiative.”