Mr Bill Ferris AC
Chair, Innovation and Science Australia
30 May 2017

Response to 2030 Innovation Strategic Plan issues paper

The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) has been concerned for some time by the narratives emerging from governments, business and industry sectors and policy-preneurs as they touch on the role of Australian schools in developing Australia as an ‘innovation nation’. Too often, these narratives reflect deficit-model thinking about schools, that is, that schools (and teachers and students) are under-performing or ‘failing’ and are in urgent need of repair or radical reform.

We believe deficit-model thinking about schools is blinding policy makers to the innovative ways in which schools are already responding to rapidly escalating social and technological change and the capacity of schools to help drive Australia’s innovation agenda – not just as servants of government policies and government-mandated ‘best’ practice, but as leaders of ‘next’ practice and contributors to policy development.

The aim of our submission is therefore to offer an alternative view, in which schools are recognised as dynamic learning communities with entrepreneurial capacity in their own right. It is our hope that Innovation and Science Australia will consider this view in its deliberations for the 2030 Strategic Plan.

Yours faithfully,
(Mrs) Karen Spiller
AHISA National Chair
Principal of St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, Qld

Response to 2030 Innovation Strategic Plan issues paper - full version