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Ministers urged to work quickly on national education review

Beacon Foundation welcomes the latest review into school education in Australia with CEO Scott Harris urging Education Ministers to act swiftly to implement the changes they’ve largely agreed to. Of particular importance is the review into years 11 and 12, and the need to lift the importance of career education.

 

‘Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools’, (the Review) handed to the Government by David Gonski AC, unfortunately paints a grim picture of the declining performance of schools in this country.

 

Among its ambitious and challenging recommendations, are a number of measures that Beacon Foundation supports. Particularly important is the need to comprehensively review years 11 and 12.

 

“Beacon Foundation is currently researching ways to increase Year 12 attainment, through our Collective ed. project. This project has been set up because we know that this educational outcome is critical in setting young people up for a prosperous and successful life.

 

“I believe that the findings of the Collective ed. project will be of significance as we dive deep into the multiple, linked causes that stop young people from achieving in education – rather than typical superficial ‘band aid’ responses.” Mr Harris said.

 

There are a number of other key themes included in the Review’s recommendations which Beacon Foundation counts as vital in the work it does connecting school and communities to support successful transitions from education to meaningful employment.

 

These include, ‘strengthening the development of general capabilities’ and ‘school-community engagement’.

The engagement of wider communities in education is a crucial element across all Beacon Foundation’s programs.

 

For example, Beacon’s online mentoring program MyRoad uses volunteer mentors to teach

the importance of general capabilities, such as team work, resilience and cooperation – which are so important in the workplace.

 

The Review also shows that Beacon Foundation has been on the right path, building better links between industry and schools. Industry and business volunteers take part in many of our programs, including our day long work readiness programs, right around Australia.

 

“Schools and industry acknowledge the way this collaboration enhances education and employment outcomes. There are benefits for students, teachers and industry from this collaboration.  I’d like to see this as a central part of secondary school education,” Scott Harris says.

 

Mr Harris says Ministers must take into account the Review’s thinking on career education – that it is a key part of senior secondary schooling, and that narrowing this focus is limiting the employment potential of senior students.

 

“Young people in our public schools have so much potential, and to ignore the findings of this Review or to fail to act quickly, would be to consign them to the wrong end of the table when it comes to educational attainment.”

 

ENDS.

 

For more information:

Scott Harris

Beacon Foundation Chief Executive

0407 884 384