The Australian Government have published a landmark review of their schooling system entitled: Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. It recommends that changes should be put in place to improve the prospects of every student.
The review was commissioned by the Federal Government and undertaken by David Gonski AC and a panel of seven eminent education and policy experts and sought to determine how Australia could improve student achievement and school performance. In a joint statement on the 30th April 2018 the Prime Minister and Education Minister accepted its recommendations in principle.
The review references our own research, notably Contemporary transitions: Young Britons reflect on life after secondary school and college which found that young adults who take part in career talks and employer engagement programs are more likely to be in education, employment or training than their peers who did not have the same opportunities. Such findings emphasise the importance of employer encounters and partnerships between schools and employers in informing career-related decisions made by young adults. The importance of employer encounters and partnerships is something the Australian Government highlight.
One to the Review’s key findings was:
Fit for purpose school-community engagement undertaken to respond to identified student needs is an effective way to improve the relevance of learning, and to support personal development and student learning growth. School-industry collaboration, mentoring, volunteering and extra-curricular activities are effective forms of engagement to help achieve this.
And it made the following recommendation:
Strengthen school-community engagement to enrich student learning through the establishment of mechanisms to facilitate quality partnerships, including engagement in mentoring, volunteering and extra-curricular activities, between schools, employers, members of the community, community organisations and tertiary institutions.
It is not the first time our research has informed strategy put forward by the Australian Government. In May 2013, Rt. Hon. Peter Garret, former Minister for School, Education and Youth, referred to our findings that exposing more young people to career insights as an evidence-based finding that had helped inform the Australian Government’s National Career Development strategy.
For more information about the work we are doing with partners and the roll out of Inspiring the Future/Inspiring Women and Primary Futures in Australia please see: https://www.educationandemployers.org/inspiring-the-future-australia/