Education Council

14 June 2019

Review of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians

Key points in AHISA’s submission to the Review include:

  • The two national goals identified in the 2008 Melbourne Declaration remain viable to sustain national aspirations for and drive reform effort in school education over the next decade.
  • The national goals for schooling should reference pre- and post-school learning but remain focused on schooling.
  • The eight areas of commitment to action described in the 2008 Melbourne Declaration are sufficiently high level to provide a framework for the development of national education policies and action plans by the Education Council. Only minor adjustments would be necessary to capture issues raised in the Review discussion paper. The areas of commitment to action would benefit, however, from a more explicit recognition of the importance of the professional expertise of educators and of the need to develop schools as agile organisations with entrepreneurial capacity. In particular, AHISA suggests the particular challenges of schooling provision in regional and remote areas be recognised in the areas of commitment to action.
  • The Declaration could be strengthened if the national goals were interpreted through institutional as well as human agency. AHISA suggests for consideration the addition of an area of commitment to action that makes explicit the nation’s expectations of schools as vibrant learning communities, supported by the professional expertise of teachers and school leaders, and whose success depends on the cooperation and contribution of students and their families as well as school staff and members of the wider community.
  • The achievement of the national goals could be accelerated by the adoption of a strengths-based approach to the development of action plans.

Submission to the Review of the Melbourne Declaration