Book News: October 7th, 2008

This report published by the Australian Government argues that Australia needs to build a culture of high expectations in its schools for students and teachers. This culture must also be matched to effective transparency and accountability mechanisms that meet the needs of parents, policy makers and the broader community.

The commitment recognises the central role that education plays in the economic and social strength of the nation. Education not only drives productivity but also empowers individuals to reach their full potential, and helps overcome disadvantage. Beyond economic growth, education creates social benefits that help build social capital. Societies with a strong commitment to education enjoy higher levels of civic participation, greater social cohesion, lower levels of crime and disadvantage, and a more trusting, equitable and just society.

The Australian Government considers that the reform agenda must deliver real changes in the core areas of raising the quality of teaching in schools, ensuring all students benefit from schooling through strategies based on high expectations of attainment and improving transparency and accountability of schools and school systems at all levels.

The report sets out a reform programme which includes measuring school performance, helping disadvantaged school communities, funding intensive learning activities and engaging parents.

The report is available from the website.