A2 Overview

Our performance

The Directorate performed very well in achieving its strategic priorities in 2010-11. Some strategic achievements included:

  • 87 percent of public school year 12 students achieved a Year 12 Certificate in 2010
  • ACT students performed best in the nation for all year levels and domains in terms of mean score with the exception
    of years 5 and 7 students in spelling in NAPLAN 2010
  • ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students achieved above the national minimum standard in all tests and  all year levels compared with the national results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in NAPLAN 2010
  • 91 percent of 2009 year 12 graduates were employed or studying in 2010
  • 94 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students progressed to year 12 in 2010
  • 85 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students achieved a Year 12 or a VET Certificate in 2010
  • Individual learning plans were developed for all students with learning difficulties
  • 80 percent of students and parents and carers were satisfied with the education at public schools
  • 94 percent of staff were retained by the Directorate
  • two schools with world class learning facilities opened for the 2011 school year
  • a student to computer ratio of 1:1 was achieved for year 9 to 12 students in public schools and colleges
  • Phase 1 of the Australian Curriculum was implemented in public schools
  • the new Contractor Management Framework won the Safe Work ACT Award for the Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System–Public Sector category. The Framework was automatically nominated for the National Safe Work Australia Award
  • early intervention focus in injury prevention saw a decrease in five day injury claims to 74 from 80. Average time lost in terms of weeks incapacitated decreased from 2,104 in 2009-10, to 2,071 in 2010-11.

Our performance is discussed in detail in Sections A8, A9, B and C.

Our planning framework

The Directorate's vision, priorities and performance measures are expressed in the Strategic Plan 2010-2013: Everyone matters. Priorities in the Strategic Plan are derived from the higher level education and training objectives contained in the Canberra Plan and the associated underpinning plans – the Social, Spatial, Economic and Climate plans. The Canberra Plan provides a basis for achievement against these important government objectives. The hierarchy of the Directorate's planning framework is presented in Figure A2.1.

Figure A2.1: Education and Training Directorate strategic planning framework

pyramid

Source: Planning and Performance Branch

Our Strategic Plan is underpinned by key organisational planning documents. The work program for the period 2010-11 was contained in the Operational Plan. The Operational Plan provides details of key priorities and activities for the Directorate on an annual basis.

The Operational Plan broadly outlines activities for the year and links performance measures from the Strategic Plan against these activities. There is regular reporting against these activities to the senior executive. Activities in the Operational Plan are translated into priorities and activities for the business areas of the Directorate, through annual business plans. Schools also address the priorities of the Strategic Plan and the Operational Plan through annual school plans.The School Improvement 2011 guides school planning processes. School plans, endorsed by school boards, are prepared annually and published on school websites.

The Directorate has a number of internal controls designed to monitor and manage risk involved in delivering against the Strategic Plan. The Internal Audit Program and the Risk Management Framework are the primary risk management tools used to manage, monitor and report on the Directorate's risk management and audit functions.

More information on the Directorate's governance arrangements including risk management and audit program is provided at Sections C1 to C5.

Our organisational environment

The Canberra Plan: Towards Our Second Century places the ACT school system in a forward looking context. With ‘excellent education, quality teaching and skills development’ being one of the plan’s seven strategic themes, the Directorate is an integral player in achieving the city’s overall vision to be both sustainable and creative.

We benefit from being geographically small in size. Our urban nature is almost entirely metropolitan. Being located within the state of NSW creates opportunities for partnership. Canberra’s status as the nation’s capital adds a significant global flavour with our educational institutions delivering services to over 7,000 international students in any one year.

Underpinning our desire to be a sustainable and creative city is a need to also be a clever city, with a well educated and appropriately skilled workforce. Currently around 71 percent of our citizens between the ages of 25 and 64 years have a post- school qualification. Whilst this is above the national average our ambition is to increase this number.

Through the National Education Agreement and associated National Partnerships, the Directorate works closely with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to translate and implement national policy into local practice. The creation of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has fulfilled an important role in the development of a national approach to curriculum and assessment. The Directorate works closely with ACARA to support the rollout of the Australian Curriculum.

The Minister for Education and Training represents the ACT on the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs and the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment. The Directorate is represented on Senior Official Committees and working groups to support these councils.

The Directorate ensures that, through the Government Schools Education Council and the Non-government Schools Education Council, ACT schools are supported by an effective governance structure. The Education Act 2004 requires that each public school has a school board as a way of sharing authority between the Directorate, the school and the local school community. The role of boards includes establishing the strategic direction and priorities for the school and developing strong relationships between the school and the community.

The Directorate works closely with other ACT government agencies to deliver on its priorities. To deliver full service programs related to early childhood development, education and care, the Directorate works collaboratively with the ACT Health and Community Services Directorates. Amongst other outcomes, this has led to the opening of Child and Family Centres and the expansion of the Maternal and Child Health program.

To increase the likelihood of successful student transitions through the school system and beyond, the Directorate has collaborated with the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and the University of Canberra. Collaboration with CIT has delivered innovations such as the incorporation of Flexible Learning Centres in the new Gungahlin College. A partnership between the Directorate and the University of Canberra involved activities and initiatives towards achieving the shared vision for public schools and tertiary education. In recognition of the partnership, two public schools have been renamed:

  • Kaleen High School to University of Canberra High School, Kaleen
  • Lake Ginninderra Senior Secondary College to University of Canberra Senior Secondary College, Lake Ginninderra.

To plan for future schooling needs and advise on appropriate use of land adjacent to school environments, the Directorate, through the School Planning Committee, maintains a close working relationship with the ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate (formerly ACT Planning and Land Authority). Amongst other outcomes, this has supported the implementation of the school renewal program that has delivered new schools and colleges with state-of-the-art technologies, linked to the public library service and serving a range of other community needs.

The Directorate seeks opportunities for collaboration with other jurisdictions to deliver benefits to the ACT. Through service agreements and memoranda of understandings the ACT has negotiated arrangements addressing the curriculum, assessment and professional development needs of its teaching workforce. For example, the NSW Department of Education provides NAPLAN testing and marking services for all ACT students.

Organisational name and leadership

As a consequence of the Hawke Review, the ACT Government reorganised the ACT Public Service. On 17 May 2011, the Department of Education and Training was renamed the Education and Training Directorate. There was no change to the role and responsibilities of the agency. The agency head was renamed Director-General.

Following significant renewal in 2009-10 the composition of the Directorate’s leadership team remained stable during 2010-11. The team as at 30 June 2011 comprised: Dr Jim Watterston, Director-General; Ms Diane Joseph, Deputy Director- General; Ms Leanne Cover, Executive Director, Tertiary and International Education; Ms Jayne Johnston, Executive Director, School Improvement and Mr Phillip Tardif, Executive Director, Corporate Services.

Legislation

The Directorate has responsibility for the following ACT legislation:

  • Education Act 2004
  • Board of Senior Secondary Studies Act 1997
  • Training and Tertiary Education Act 2003
  • ACT Teacher Quality Institute Act 2010.