2Julia Gillard and Labor
Let’s move Australia Forward
The Gillard Labor Government will also provide $17.7 million over the next four years toschool systems
government and non-government
to support this transition.An additional $6.9 million will fund implementation, including the development of aspecific training course for principals on leading and managing a more autonomousschool, the development of innovative governance models and a longitudinal evaluation.This reform will enable school communities to use their local knowledge andunderstanding of the needs of their students to allocate resources and make schoolbased decisions. This will drive localised educational responses and better learningoutcomes for students.
Why do we need more local control for principals and parents?
At the core of the Gillard Labor Government
s plan to deliver a world class educationsystem is the need for better outcomes at each and every school across the country.For the first time, through initiatives such as NAPLAN and MySchool, parents and thecommunity have access to comparable information about learning outcomes at theirlocal school. This has started a national conversation about accountability and whatschools should do to improve student performance.Evidence collected by the OECD, and other international and national research, suggestsprincipal autonomy can contribute to a stronger performing education system andstronger performing schools in terms of academic standards
.The Gillard Labor Government believes it is important that this accountability bematched by efforts to empower schools so that they can provide localised, timely andeffective support to their students. Every school community has intimate knowledge of
their student’s needs, and what needs to
change within their school to generate betterlearning outcomes. This initiative will give schools the ability to act on this vitalknowledge.Without control over decision-making, principals are limited in their ability to respond toproblems and are impeded in their attempts to improve student outcomes.And without strong governance structures like school councils or boards, parents arelimited in their ability to drive change within the school.By devolving core responsibilities to schools, within the framework of current legislativeand industrial arrangements, we are creating the best conditions for innovation andflexibility at the school level which will drive better results and outcomes for students.
What does this mean for principals and schools?
Schools and principals will be more accountable for student outcomes and will have thepower to make decisions to address problems, to focus on schools
priorities and to
OECD ‘Education at a Glance’ 2008
ACER, The Leadership Challenge: Improving Learning in Schools 2008
ACER, OECD, Program for International Student Assessment in Brief, from Australia’s Perspecti