In December 2022, Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers agreed to establish an Expert Panel that will undertake a review to inform the development of the next National School Reform Agreement (the agreement).
The Expert Panel leading the Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System (the Review) has been announced and their Terms of Reference have been released.
The agreement is a joint agreement between the Commonwealth, States and Territories to lift student outcomes across Australian schools.
The Review, chaired by Dr Lisa O’Brien AM, will focus on driving real and measurable improvements for students, with a particular focus on students most at risk of falling behind. This includes students from low socio-economic backgrounds, regional, rural and remote Australia, students with disability, First Nations students and students from a language background other than English.
The Panel’s Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference identifies the priority areas of focus for the Review, these include:
- Targets and reform areas to drive measurable improvements for all students, particularly those most at risk of falling behind
- Improving student mental health and wellbeing
- Attracting and retaining teachers
- Using data collection to best inform improvements to student outcomes
- Ensuring transparency and accountability of public funding.
What the Panel will be involved in
The Review will consider reforms that are evidence-based, leverage existing systems and high-impact initiatives and consider the impacts on teacher and school leader workload.
The Expert Panel will build on the review completed by the Productivity Commission in January 2023, and it will take into consideration the National Teacher Workforce Action Plan and existing Government commitments under the other national agreements, including Closing the Gap where appropriate.
The Expert Panel will consult with State and Territory Governments, teachers, principals and other education experts to inform their recommendations to Education Ministers. Consultations will also take place with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, organisations from regional, rural and remote Australia, people with disability, and young Australians experiencing disadvantage.
To provide time for the Review to occur, the current agreement will be extended for 12 months to 31 December 2024, subject to agreement by First Ministers. The Expert Panel will advise Education Ministers on what reform priorities should be included in the next agreement by 31 October 2023.