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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (5 April) . .

Page.. 1064..


We also need to start showing that we are actually closing the gap when it comes to educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The "school improvement-school performance and accountability framework" will provide us with a clear direction of how schools will be held accountable to parents and the community to ensure we are meeting the high expectations we have for every student.

The key elements of the new approach are as follows. There is a five-year cycle for external school reviews to align current time frames with non-government schools re-registration. This will mean that approximately 20 of our public schools will be reviewed each year. School reviews will be conducted by an external review panel comprising an accomplished principal and an external education expert.

Schools will develop a five-year strategic plan that includes their priorities, key improvement strategies and targets. This plan will be based on the outcome of their external review report and developed in consultation with their school board. Schools will develop an annual action plan, aligned to their strategic plan. Schools will evaluate their progress against the action plan annually and report to their community.

The director-general will send a letter of expectation at the beginning of each school year to each principal. The letter will outline outcomes expected to be achieved in alignment with directorate and government priorities. A differentiated approach to reviews will occur from 2016. The external school reviews will take into consideration the size and complexities of each school to ensure the panels have enough time to engage with parents, teachers and students during the review process.

I would like to talk specifically on a new approach that I am particularly pleased to see take shape. Special purpose reviews will also be introduced. This is a significant change to the current approach. These reviews can be initiated at any time by the director-general. It may be when schools have been successful in delivering great results for their students and community. The outcome of the review will allow for the sharing of best practice as schools can learn from each other. They may also occur when a school has encountered difficulties and requires further support or intervention.

A special purpose review may also be initiated when a new principal is appointed. This will provide the principal with a further insight into the school. I firmly believe that these special purpose reviews will allow the directorate and the school community to both arrest any concerning slides in quality before they become endemic and, just as importantly, help us capture and translate innovation and successes.

The national school improvement tool will also become a core component of the review process for both schools and the external review panel. This national tool, which was successfully trialled in a number of our schools in 2015, was developed by the Australian Council for Education Research and is available to all Australian schools for use in their school improvement planning.

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to say that our public school leaders were enthusiastic in embracing this nationally agreed tool as it allowed them to capture not only the views of their staff but also those of their students and parents. Schools will


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