Twenty percent of high performing schools are failing to meet the basic needs of every child. We are a long way from being able to deliver consistently good 21st century schools.
Students are not meeting national baseline proficiency in numeracy
Students are not meeting national baseline proficiency in literacy
Students are developmentally vulnerable and not adequately prepared for school
Digital technology is changing our 21st century world and economy. Technologies like machine learning, 3D printing and social media are radically impacting on how we live and work.
In the next two decades, almost half of all Australian jobs will be disrupted by technology. Automation will eradicate many low skill jobs and reduce the amount of professional jobs.
Australian schools will need to offer a 21st century education that prepares students for future jobs. Providing students with skills in order to thrive in the 21st century economy.
Young people need a range of 21st century skills that span technical capabilities, critical thinking capacity and character qualities.
The foundations for education start with literacy and numeracy. Students first learn to read and write and continue to read to learn more.
Along the way they master critical thinking, develop their character and learn how to adapt and thrive in our every changing world. They also continue to adopt new technology.
Australians agree that education is the key to national advancement. So we need to ensure that every school can meet the needs of every child.
School systems have improvement frameworks, but large numbers of schools are not improving. This means thousands of Australian children are missing out on an education.
Almost half of Australian schools are Poor performing and:
McKinsey & Company’s 2010 landmark report, How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better, studied twenty education systems at different levels of improvement.
It describes how schools around the world that started with Poor performance, became Good, from Good on to Great and some even Excellent. This shows that even the most challenging school systems and subsystems can improve on any point on the poor and excellent continuum.
The report sets out how leaders started by clarifying what performance stage they were at according to their student outcomes. They then put the right interventions in place to achieve the desired improvement in student outcomes. Regardless of their different historical, economic and cultural contexts, these systems implemented a set of common practices for each stage of their improvement journey.
We found this a compelling model for school improvement, as it aligned to the framework we had developed in shifting our Academy schools from Poor to Fair.
We have partnered with McKinsey to work on a model that combines our knowledge and experience. Through this, we have been able to develop an Australian school improvement framework for schools and systems. A ‘Poor to Fair’ implementation is set for a north Australian region in early 2017.
According to international evidence the critical factors to address to achieve school improvement are: