National Initiatives

Two senior students guiding three younger boys in an outdoor exerciseNational Goals for Schooling

In December 2008, State, Territory and Commonwealth Ministers of Education meeting as the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, released the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, which sets the direction for Australian schooling for the next 10 years.

The Goals were developed by Education Ministers in collaboration with the Independent and Catholic school sectors, following public consultation on the draft declaration.

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training (Aus DET) nominates national curriculum priorities that are considered in curriculum planning by Independent Schools Victoria Member Schools.

The Aus DET and the Students First websites are both useful resources.

National Projects

Engaging Parents in Education

Partnerships between families and schools, and between schools and their communities, emerge in many ways. Research has shown that where effective partnerships exist, the quality of schooling improves, students enjoy more satisfying educational experiences, and communities are strengthened.

The Australian Government is working to increase parent engagement in education by:

  • Making My School better
  • Research into parent engagement
  • Home-based support for disadvantaged families
  • Parent engagement in the curriculum
  • Involving parents in school decision-making

National Assessment Plan

The National Assessment Program (NAP) is aligned with the National Statements of Learning. Work is underway to align NAP with the Australian Curriculum.

The NAP is the measure through which governments, education authorities and schools can determine whether or not young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes.

The NAP is run at the direction of the Ministerial Council It includes:

  • the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
  • three-yearly NAP Sample Assessments in Science Literacy, Civics and Citizenship, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy
  • international sample assessments.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is the independent statutory authority responsible for the overall management of the Australian National Assessment Program, in collaboration with representatives from all states and territories and non-government school sectors.

On the National Assessment Program website you will find more information about NAPLAN and NAP Sample Assessments. There is also information on the future delivery of NAPLAN online. This information is useful for parents and carers, schools, state and territory authorities and the wider community.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy (the Strategy) was endorsed by education ministers in September 2015. Under the Strategy, education ministers have agreed to a set of principles and priorities that will inform jurisdictional approaches to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

Recognising the different roles of governments, the Strategy includes actions that education ministers will take together to complement the efforts of individual jurisdictions. These actions build on existing national initiatives such as the Australian Curriculum and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers to accelerate the rate of improvement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student outcomes.

The initial set of actions focus on:

  • Attendance and Engagement
  • Transition Points (including pathways to post-school options)
  • Early Childhood Transitions
  • Workforce
  • Australian Curriculum

Through the Strategy, education ministers have also committed to having visible plans or approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education which can be accessed by the public.

National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework (2011)

The National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework was developed in 2005 for the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) to articulate further the learning needed to fulfil the National Goals of Schooling 1999.

The Framework focuses on learning in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 around understanding money, consumer education, personal finance and money management.

The National Framework was revised in 2011 to take account of:

  • national and international developments in education and financial literacy research
  • the advent of the Australian Curriculum
  • the rapid advances in technology that have impacted greatly on Australians’ use of online and digital environments in their everyday lives.

The National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework can be accessed on the Australian Government Money Smart website.

National STEM Education Strategy

The strategy which outlines a comprehensive plan for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education in Australia was endorsed by Australian Education Ministers in December 2015.

Five areas for national action are identified to achieve two goals:

  1. Ensure that all students finish school with strong foundational knowledge in STEM and related areas
  2. Ensure that students are inspired to take on more challenging STEM subjects.