In February 2017, the ACT Government embarked on a community-led conversation to develop a strategy for the future of education for the next ten years. This conversation took place over 16 months, with input from over 5,000 people. Guided by this conversation, and informed by peer-reviewed research, the ACT Government has developed The Future of Education Strategy that will guide our education system over the next ten years.
Planning for the Future of Education began with a conversation with the ACT community that occurred over three phases.
Phase One Consultation
Phase One consultation was deliberately open and broad, calling for all ideas, experiences and insights about education from anyone in the ACT community. This phase opened in February 2017 and closed in December 2017.
Phase Two Consultation
A second round of consultation provided participants with an opportunity to engage with the rich data received in Phase One.
The second round of consultation was called “Moving from hearing to doing” and allowed participants to immerse themselves in material from the first phase through visual, auditory and interactive displays during a three-hour workshop.
The immersion experience was established in a wing of Charles Weston School in Coombs for two weeks during March 2018. All contributors to Phase One were extended an invitation to participate.
Phase Three Consultation
The third and final phase of the project was to develop the Strategy for the Future of Education in the ACT.
The strategy was drafted between April and June 2018. It was approved by Cabinet in July and presented to the Legislative Assembly in August 2018.
Consultation during Phase Three distributed the endorsed strategy to stakeholders and continued the conversation, focussing on the actions required to develop an ACT wide implementation plan.
What We Heard through Consultation
Who We Heard From
In Phase One:
4,673+ individuals contributed
Over 8 months, on average, we heard from 146 people per week.
In Phase Two:
148 people, representing seven stakeholder groups, engaged in testing the foundations and developing actions for the Strategy.
In Phase Two, a workforce discussion paper and survey for school staff was also released.
Of the 718 respondents:
- 65% work in public schools;
- 15% work in Catholic schools;
- 18% work in independent schools.
Students and Young People
In Phase One, young people said they want:
- Real life skills;
- Good relationships with teachers;
- Stronger collaboration with the community to enable inclusion of all students.
In Phase Two, young people said they value:
- Having a voice, including individualised learning;
- A greater focus on citizenship, social responsibility and wellbeing.
In Phase One:
- 22% of feedback from schools related to social and emotional skills and wellbeing;
- Almost 1 in 10 comments mentioned a desire to develop schools as community hubs, and a need for more integrated support.
In Phase Two, schools said they want:
- To develop quality teachers, sooner;
- Measurable wellbeing, learning achievement and growth.
In Phase Two, the workforce said they want:
- Professional learning in: subject specific areas, pedagogy, data collection and analysis, and 21st Century capabilities;
- Partnerships and collaboration with other agencies to develop schools as community hubs;
- Having a broader range of professionals on site in schools would bring supports closer to students and families;
- Prioritising time to build successful partnerships
Parents, Families and Carers
In Phase One:
- 21% of comments referred to children and young people needing social and emotional skills and problem-solving skills;
- More than 1 in 10 comments from parents, families and carers related to equity for all students including gifted, disadvantaged and other minorities.
In Phase Two, parents, including School Boards, said they value:
- A strong focus on the whole person and their wellbeing, as this contributes to learning;
- Schools embedded in - and responsive to - their communities;
- Stronger connections with universities to bring their expertise into our schools and to strengthen initial teacher education.
Community Sector and Government Partners
In Phase One:
- 1 in 4 comments from the community sector mentioned schools as communities and a need for greater supports and early intervention services;
- 16% of comments from the community sector called for greater consistency across schools.
In Phase Two, they said:
- The school culture and values need to genuinely welcome community engagement;
- Our whole community needs to work together to enable students to be active engaged citizens;
- There should be a focus on wellbeing and support of school staff.