Government Unveils Gonski Recommendations for the Future of Australian Education

May 3, 2018 Last Updated: May 5, 2018

The Federal Government has released a report on Australia’s schooling system and has accepted its recommendations “in principle,” the government said in a media release on Monday, April 30.

Mr. David Gonski AC was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s office to undertake the “Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools,” which was conducted alongside a panel of education and policy experts.

The review concluded that Australia’s education system needs to reform for the future.

Among the 23 recommendations, one is to have an individualised approach where teachers identify the needs of the cohort and then progress each student accordingly.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, alongside Gonski and the Minister for Education and Training said in a joint statement:

“[W]e have to recognise that we have been falling behind other countries. On any measure, whether it is reading, whether it’s science, whether it’s mathematics, we are falling down relative to other countries.”

Gonski added “we have been slipping and we can do better.”

“[Students] should progress in their education. We should show better esteem towards teachers and we should equip them better and indeed, give them the tools to be able to do what they need to do,” Gonski said.

However, the review has met with some criticism.

Queensland MP Andrew Laming said that the profession was poorly structured to attract and retain the best quality teachers, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In an interview with 2GB, Laming acknowledged that teachers were working hard, but too busy with other administrative duties.

He added, “…but to have a special plan for every child takes a lot more time, teachers don’t have it.”

“They’re too busy doing playground duty, they’re too busy doing rosters, they’re too busy taking work home and not getting paid for doing it,” Laming said.

The Federal Government, said in the media release, that it intends to work with states and territories and non-government school systems to determine how the reforms set out in the Review should be delivered.

State and territory education ministers met with Gonski on Friday, May 4, at a special meeting of the COAG Education Council held in Adelaide.

More information about the Review can be viewed here.