Big Picture reponse to Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools

The Panel for the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools chaired by Mr David Gonski AC, has been commissioned to examine evidence and make recommendations on how school funding should be used to improve school performance and student outcomes.

The response from Big Picture Education is linked below.

In summary:

There is a student engagement crisis in our schools. We know enough about the problem. In the search for solutions the Review has been challenged to think outside the square. This is what Big Picture learning does with a design that links the school experience with opportunities for young people beyond the school gate.

We ask that:

Members of the Review panel visit Big Picture schools to witness what high levels of student engagement look like in schools and what this achieves for students.

The Review recommend a working party be established to investigate and report on:

  • practical school designs and strategies to engage students in sustainable learning,
  • how measurement and school accountability processes can include assessment of student engagement.

Recommendations on how schools should meet the needs of all students should emphasise the primary and proven role of authentic personalised learning. 

To support the expansion of proven practice, a fund be established by the Commonwealth to support non-profit organisations that meet criteria agreed by the Review for establishing long term school improvement.

To improve and properly target school accountability, innovative schools such as Big Picture be consulted prior to the establishment of new processes.   

Schools be further supported to develop partnerships with universities in ways that maintain standards while creating flexible pathways that will further help students plan their learning futures. 

To further support emerging innovation, an ongoing facility/body be established to assess the relevance of new initiatives and the evidence for their success.

We remain very aware that embracing wider solutions to long term problems is a risky prospect. But in Big Picture we took a very big risk. We’ve existed on the edge and made a difference.

We are confident that the current Review can do the same.