National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009

National initiatives and achievements

2.1 Developing stronger partnerships

Australian governments have committed to working with all school sectors to ensure that schools engage young Australians, parents, carers, families, other education and training providers, business and the broader community to support students’ progress through schooling, and to provide them with rich learning, personal development and citizenship opportunities (Melbourne Declaration, 2008).
States and Territories are committed to fostering:
  • school-based partnerships with parents, carers and families, with local community groups, with Indigenous communities and between schools

  • system-based partnerships with business, higher education, government agencies and others. 

Jurisdictions will develop these partnerships on an individual basis, sharing and learning from best practice across jurisdictions and school sectors.

Smarter Schools National Partnerships

Through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the Australian Government and State and Territory governments have entered into national partnerships for:
  • Improving Teacher Quality

  • Education in Low Socio-economic Status School Communities

  • Literacy and Numeracy.

Known collectively as Smarter Schools National Partnerships, these contribute to achieving objectives, outcomes and targets for schooling under COAG and the policy and reform directions outlined in the National Education Agreement (NEA). Participation by the non-government school sectors in these partnerships is determined by State and Territory government processes.
 
  • Improving Teacher Quality

    Under the Teacher Quality National Partnership (2008–09 to 2012–13), governments and school sectors are implementing a range of reforms that aim to attract, train, place, develop and retain quality teachers and leaders in Australia’s schools. Commonwealth funding of $550 million has been committed to this partnership over the five-year period. All teachers and school leaders are targeted under this partnership. Further information on this partnership and its implementation in 2009 is included in National initiatives and achievements – Supporting quality teaching and school leadership in this report. More detailed information is available on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Smarter Schools National Partnerships website. ;

  • Low Socio-economic Status School Communities

    Through the Low Socio-economic Status School Communities National Partnership (2008–09 to 2014–15), participating schools are working with their local communities and education authorities to identify reform activities that will generate the best educational outcomes for their disadvantaged students, including Indigenous students, students from non-English speaking backgrounds and students with disabilities. Commonwealth funding of $1.5 billion and State and Territory funding of $1.5 billion has been committed to this partnership over the seven-year period. The partnership will involve approximately 1,700 low socio-economic status schools around the country. Further information on this partnership and its implementation in 2009 is included in National initiatives and achievements – Improving educational outcomes for Indigenous youth and disadvantaged young Australians in this report. More detailed information is available on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Smarter Schools National Partnerships website.
    ;

  • Literacy and Numeracy

    The Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership (2008–09 to 2011–12) aims to deliver sustained improvement in literacy and numeracy outcomes for students, especially those needing support. This partnership will provide up to $540 million in Commonwealth funding over four years to the states and territories and will involve approximately 1,000 schools. Further information on this partnership is available on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) Smarter Schools National Partnerships website.

The Smarter Schools National Partnerships provide funding for a range of initiatives to support the educational needs of students in participating schools.

National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions

The National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions is a COAG agreement that covers the period July 2009 to December 2013. It aims to increase participation of young people in education and training, increase attainment levels nationally and improve successful transitions from school. Commonwealth funding of $723 million has been committed to this partnership over the life of the agreement. The national partnership includes the Compact with Young Australians and the implementation of a National Youth Participation Requirement which will commence from 1 January 2010. Further information on this partnership is included in National initiatives and achievements Supporting senior years of schooling and youth transitions in this report and on the DEEWR website.

National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education

Through the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education, Commonwealth and State and Territory governments have committed to ensuring that, by 2013, all children will have access to a quality early childhood education program in the year before formal schooling. The Commonwealth has committed $970 million over the five years to 2013. The National Partnership includes a specific focus on ensuring preschool education is available to Indigenous and disadvantaged children. The National Partnership is closely linked to other elements of the Australian Government’s early childhood reform agenda, including the development of the national Early Years Learning Framework, workforce reforms and the development of a national quality framework for early childhood education and care. Further information on the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education is available on the DEEWR website.

National Partnership for Indigenous Early Childhood Development

Through the National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development the Australian Government is providing $292.62 million for the establishment of Children and Family Centres (CFCs) across Australia by June 2014. The CFCs will deliver integrated services, including early learning, child care and family programs in areas where there is a demonstrated need for these services, high disadvantage and a high proportion of Indigenous children under five years of age. By 31 December 2009, 36 Children and Family Centres had been agreed and announced by responsible Ministers.

National Partnership Agreement on the Nation Building and Jobs Plan – Building the Education Revolution

In February 2009, COAG agreed to National Partnership Agreement on the Nation Building and Jobs Plan (2008–09 to 2011–12) incorporating Building the Education Revolution (BER). This agreement provides Commonwealth funding of $16.2 billion over four years for new facilities such as libraries in primary schools and science laboratories in secondary schools, minor capital works in all schools, improving infrastructure and learning environments and creating jobs in local communities. Over 9,500 schools are participating in the BER. Further information on this partnership and its implementation in 2009 is included in National initiatives and achievements – Other national initiatives in this report and on the DEEWR website.