Priority 1 - Quality Learning

Photo of boys and girls at Koori preschool

Our Major
Achievements
in 2014-15

  • The number of education and care services assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard was 88, bringing the total number with a quality rating to 224.
  • The number of students studying a language other than English in ACT public schools grew by almost 3,000 students to a total of 25,948.
  • All milestones for 2014 under the National Partnership on Skills Reform were met.
  • The Directorate commenced a review of the Reporting on Student Achievement and Progress to Students and Parents Policy which received over 300 submissions from the ACT Government Time to Talk Canberra website.
  • All ACT public schools commenced implementation of the Australian Curriculum learning areas: Geography and the Arts.
Results 
  • 82% of apprentices satisfied with their training.
  • 88% of students graduated with a year 12 certificate.

Our
Challenges
in 2014-15

  • Reducing of red tape and costs, whilst maintaining compliance with ASQA standards to ensure the provision of high quality vocational education programs for ACT senior secondary students, will be addressed through the Review into the Provision of VET in ACT Public Schools

Our Major Achievements

The Directorate maintains the highest levels of achievement in student performance in literacy and numeracy of all Australian states and territories. Activities to build on educational outcomes have been developed and achievements have been made.

  • All ACT public schools commenced implementation of the Australian Curriculum learning areas Geography and the Arts and reporting of student learning using nationally agreed achievement standards.
  • 2014 was the tenth year of the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge. A record number of students - approximately 14,000 from preschool to year 8 across public and non-government schools - participated in the Challenge.
  • There were 43,427 students enrolled in public schools at the February 2015 ACT School Census. This represented an increase of 1,216 students 2.9 percent since February 2014.
  • Professional Learning in Primary Connections Science and High School Science by Doing were delivered to ACT teachers to enhance teacher expertise in science teaching.
  • Five primary schools participated in a trial using digital technologies and 3D printers in partnership with the Australian 3D Manufacturing Association (A3DMA).
  • The Directorate worked with Google to facilitate a Google for Education Summit on 28 and 29 March 2015 at Gungahlin College. The event welcomed 200 educators from the ACT and surrounding region and was only the third such event hosted in Australia. The Summit focused on the learning opportunities that are now available to public schools due to the Directorate's recent implementation of Google tools to promote student learning.
  • Mr Geoff McNamara from Melrose High School received the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.
  • The Principals as Literacy Leaders program was delivered to principals, school leaders and teachers to enhance leadership in literacy teaching and learning.
  • Four education and care services in the ACT were rated excellent under the National Quality Framework by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). One such rating was awarded to Wiradjuri Preschool Child Care Centre for exceptional programs and practices with a clear commitment to reconciliation with Australia's Indigenous peoples.
  • The number of ACT education and care services quality assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard during the reporting period was 88, bringing the total number of services with a quality rating to 224.
  • The Skilled Capital vocational education and training initiative was launched in December 2014 as part of the Skills Reform agenda. It provides $21 million over three years to improve access to high quality training in areas of skills need and to maximise improved employment outcomes for students. The initiative also provides a comprehensive range of support services to ensure students receive the help they need to successfully complete their chosen qualification. From its opening day on 23 February 2015 up to 30 June, there were 1,398 enrolments.
  • In 2014, the Directorate continued to support Australian School Based Apprentices (ASBAs) in work-based learning, broadening opportunities through the School Apprentices Across ACT Government program. Throughout 2014 a total of 130 ASBAs were supported by the Directorate to work in 47 public schools.
  • The Directorate continued its program of professional development for registered training organisations with the goal of increasing their capacity to deliver foundation skills, and adult language, literacy and numeracy, training and support.
  • The Directorate commenced a review of the Reporting on Student Achievement and Progress to Students and Parents Policy. The draft Reporting Student Achievement (Preschool to Year 12) Policy and draft system report templates were available for public consultation from March 2015 to 15 May 2015 via the ACT Government Time to Talk Canberra website. Over 300 submissions were received to inform finalisation of the policy. The revised policy will be implemented in 2016 and will ensure parents and carers receive high quality information about their child's achievement from preschool to year 12.
  • The number of students studying a language in ACT public schools grew by almost 3,000 students in 2015, to a total of 25,948.
  • Franklin Early Childhood Centre was selected as one of 41 preschools and early childhood services around Australia to participate in the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) Trial in Mandarin. The trial commenced in February 2015 and is part of the Australian Government's commitment to fostering language study.

Photo of students at entrance of Calwell High School

Our Challenges

  • In endeavouring to ensure high quality vocational education and training provisions for ACT senior secondary public school students aligned with the National VET Framework, the need to reduce red tape, reduce costs and maintain compliance with ASQAwas identified. These challenges are being addressed through Review into the Provision of VET in ACT Public Schools.

Our Plans for the Next 12 Months

  • Continue to facilitate professional learning opportunities to strengthen leadership and teacher capacity in literacy, numeracy and science.
  • Continue to engage with, and implement, the Australian Curriculum in Humanities, Health and Physical Education, Technologies, Work Studies 9-10 and Languages.
  • Preliminary evaluation of Skilled Capital graduate outcomes, including the development and implementation of a longitudinal labour market survey of Skilled Capital participants.
  • Ongoing use of evidence to streamline training program design and to support enhancements to the modeling that informs the ACT Skills Needs List, ensuring allocation of government funding continues to support the changing skills needs in the ACT.
  • In collaboration with stakeholders, implement future directions identified by the Review into the Provision of VET in ACT Public Schools.
  • Finalise an evaluation of Early Childhood Schools and Koori Preschool programs in response to the Auditor-General's Report on Early Childhood Schooling.
  • Build capability to support students to deal with domestic violence through the training of front line staff.

Photo of two girls conducting science experiment in laboratory at Wanniassa School and a Photo of girl using learning puzzles at Early Childhood Centre

Fast Facts 2013-14 2014-15 Change % Change

Number of schools

130

131

1

0.8%

Number of public schools

86

86

0

0.0%

Number of students enrolled in public schools

42,211

43,427

1,216

2.9%

Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
students enrolled in public schools

1,564

1,663

99

6.3%

Number of students with special needs enrolled in public schools1

2,180

2,094

-86

-3.9%

Number of preschool students enrolled in public schools

4,683

4,592

-91

-1.9%

Number of approved childcare service providers

313

315

2

0.6%

Number of children aged 0-5 years attending
approved childcare services

14,389

15,421

1,032

7.2%

Number of registered training organisations enrolling
government funded students

81

100

19

23.5%

Number of government funded students undertaking
vocational education and training (VET) programs

28,473

25,878

-2,595

-9.1%

Number of average hours of attendance at centre based long day care

29.7

29.3

-0.4

-1.3%

Number of students participating in NAPLAN

18,403

18,902

499

2.7%

1. Early intervention services transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme from 1 January 2015. As a result, programs provided by Education and Training Directorate ceased at the end of the 2014 school year.