Message from the Director-General
I am pleased to present this report on the activities and achievements of the ACT Education and Training Directorate for the financial year 2014-2015. As articulated in the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan Education Capital: Leading the Nation, the vision for the Directorate is that in the ACT every child, young person and adult will benefit from a high quality, accessible education, childcare and training system.
This report details achievements across the Directorate's broad range of services and activities against the strategies of Education Capital, namely:
- Quality learning - ensuring learners have access to powerful and relevant learning experiences;
- Inspirational teaching and leadership - building the capabilities of our teachers and leaders;
- High expectations and high performance - having high expectations for all and meeting the learning needs of every student;
- Connecting with families and the community - partnering with families and engaging with the community to build meaningful relationships; and
- Business innovation and improvement - improving our business systems, and being open and accountable for our decisions.
Throughout the reporting period there have been many achievements. Importantly significant reforms have been progressed in early childhood education and care, school education, and training and tertiary education.
We know that quality education and care shapes every child's future and lays the foundation for development and learning. The early years are critical for establishing self-esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn. Children's education and care services covered under the Education and Care Services National Law are assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard to promote transparency and accountability and help parents assess the quality of education and care services available. During the reporting period the number of ACT education and care services quality assessed and rated was 88, bringing the total number of services in the ACT with a quality rating to 224.
Intensive research and analysis was undertaken to inform the development of a new funding model for ACT public schools - the Student Resource Allocation (SRA), consistent with our commitment to National Education Reform.
The implementation of the SRA is predicated on the view that every child can learn, given the right conditions and assistance. It recognises that achieving equity in education is not about achieving the same outcomes for every learner, but ensuring that the same profile of outcomes can be achieved for any group of students, irrespective of where they live, their circumstances or the school they attend.
The ACT Government is committed to increasing the skills of the ACT workforce, to ensure the Territory's economic and social prosperity through the provision of a flexible and responsive training sector that delivers high quality training which meets the needs of industry and business, current and prospective students, and the broader ACT community.
In December 2014 the ACT Government Minister for Education and Training launched Skilled Capital, a framework to ensure the quality of training provision in the Territory. Skilled Capital introduces a comprehensive approach to improving access and support for those experiencing disadvantage, and maximising success for students. By better aligning funding for training to areas of skills need, the initiative aims to increase the productivity of the ACT through greater workforce participation. In conjunction with the existing training options available at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and through the Australian Apprenticeships (User Choice) Program, Skilled Capital will provide an entitlement to training for all in the ACT.
Our achievements are not possible without the commitment of over 6,000 educators and staff, including over 200 new teachers and over 150 new administration and support staff who joined the Directorate throughout the year. I acknowledge and appreciate the collective work of staff across the Directorate for the work that takes place every day to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn and grow.
The ACT has one of the highest levels of educational achievement of all Australian states and territories. This is something of which we should be proud. However, the correlation between education outcomes and student background remains strong in the ACT, as it does across the nation. We need to strive for even better outcomes.