Education Directorate

The work of the Education Directorate is strengthened through the range of partnerships we build with students, their families and the community more broadly.

Regular engagement with families, community and industry has allowed strategies to be put in place to support students at all stages of their learning journeys.

Project Summary
Gifted and Talented Students Policy 2014 implementation partnership In July 2014 the Education Directorate in partnership with Gateways Education commenced implementation of the Gifted and Talented Students Policy 2014. In 2015 and 2016 classroom teachers, Gifted and Talented Liaison Officers and school leaders participated in professional learning. Materials from workshops and research articles on gifted and talented education are made available to parents and the community through publication of materials in school newsletters.
Progressing Parental Engagement Progressing Parental Engagement in the ACT is a cross-sectoral project led by the Education Directorate. The project demonstrates the ACT Government’s commitment to enabling strong connections between home and school, and enhancing positive learning outcomes for all ACT children.
The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) was commissioned to deliver the project across several phases.
Stakeholder surveys The Education Directorate undertakes a number of regular and ad hoc, issue-specific surveys and research each year to gather information from a broad range of stakeholders to inform the work of the Directorate and ensure that important stakeholders’ views are known.
Schools for All The Expert Panel Review Report on students with complex needs and challenging behaviours has provided the Education Directorate with an opportunity to improve on a comprehensive reform program in education. In line with the final recommendation of the report, an independent appropriately skilled group has been established to oversee ACT school systems’ implementation of the recommendations.
The Schools for All Program covers a suite of reform activities, under a framework/philosophy that positions students at the centre of the education system.
The Schools for All Program aims to enable each ACT school to be able to cater to the diverse and individual needs of each student within their local community, particularly those with complex needs and challenging behaviours.
It provides an opportunity to strengthen the capability of educational organisations, teachers and support staff to build on good practice and respond to students effectively. Engagement with a range of community providers is central to the Schools for All response.
Review of Non-Government Schools Registration Processes The Non-Government School Registration Manual was revised in 2015.
The revised Non-Government School Registration Manual has:
  • removed unnecessary red tape for matters not specifically required under the registration processes that are outlined in the Education Act 2004  
  • provided clearer guidelines to assist applicants to demonstrate community need for proposed non-government schools.
Applications for in-principle approval for new non-government schools will now require evidence that the site proposed for the development is available and suitable for any proposed new school or campus.
Members of the community can receive electronic copies of applications relating to proposed non-government schools.
Community notification for proposed non-government schools will appear on the Education Directorate’s website.
Panels report to the Minister regarding a school’s application for registration. The panels include balanced representation from the public and non-government education sectors.
Non-Government School Proposals for Development and Registration The Education Directorate informs the community of applications relating to the in-principle approval and registration of non-government schools in the ACT.
During the 2015–16 reporting period, the Education Directorate notified the community of the following:
2015 Decisions
In-principle approval to apply for registration at additional campuses was granted to:
  • Blue Gum Community School to be located in Dickson
  • The Galilee School to be located in Holder.
  • Taqwa School was provisionally registered for year 4 for two years, January 2016 – 31 December 2017.
Registration renewal:
Islamic School of Canberra (kindergarten – year 7) was registered for one year: 1 January – 31 December 2016. The registration of the Islamic School of Canberra is currently under review. Further information can be found in the Islamic School of Canberra’ fact sheet dated 1 March 2016.
The schools listed below were registered until 31 December 2020.
  • St Edmund’s College (years 4–12)
  • Radford College (kindergarten - year 12)
  • The Galilee School (year 7–10)
  • Holy Family Parish School, Gowrie ( kindergarten–year 6)
  • Sacred Heart Primary School, Pearce (kindergarten–year 6)
  • St Francis Xavier College, Florey (year 7–12) and
  • St John the Apostle, Florey (kindergarten–year 6).
Registration at additional levels:
  • Good Shepherd Primary School’s St John Paul II College campus was approved for Year 10 until 31 December 2017.
Applications for in-principle approval have been received from:
  • Islamic School of Canberra for Year 8 as an additional year level
  • Catholic Education for the provisional registration of two campuses as individual schools
  • Brindabella Christian College for Years 4–6 at its Charnwood Campus
  • Taqwa School for Years 5 and 6.
Minister’s Student Congress The Minister’s Student Congress (MSC) provides ACT public school students with the opportunity to discuss important educational issues directly with the Minister for Education.
In June 2016, the 8th MSC was held at the Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning with over 100 students in attendance. The Congress Executive presented their report to the Minister after the Congress. The report reflected the considerable achievements of the MSC in the previous year and recommended that the MSC continue to be used to further empower youth and provide a student voice to public school students.
Key achievements for MSC members throughout the reporting period include presenting at the numerous government and community events such as the Canberra Public Schools Leadership Summit, the CSD Youth Think Tank, and the ACT Carers Expo.
ACT Safe Schools Roundtable The Safe Schools Roundtable is an advisory body which considers issues relating to the National Safe Schools Framework and provides a forum for ongoing consultation with stakeholders. Stakeholders include the Directorate, ACT school principals, Catholic Education Office, representatives from the Association of Independent Schools, the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens’ Associations, Association of Parents and Friends, Australian Education Union, Australian Federal Police, Independent Education Union, Youth Advisory Council, Human Rights Commission, Community Services Directorate, Minister’s Student Congress.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education The Education Directorate continued to actively engage with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through initiatives including the following:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officers (IEOs)
There are currently 11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officers (IEOs) employed across 13 ACT public schools. The role of the IEO is to support students through key transition points in their education, build connections and relationships between schools, families and communities, and support students and teachers in the school environment.
Reconciliation Action Plans
The Narragunnawali:Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning program was officially launched in Adelaide in May 2015. The new program provides schools with a less formal and more flexible approach to developing and implementing Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs).
Twelve ACT public schools reported to have RAPs in place and a further 57 schools are in the process of developing one. RAPs are based on three key elements of relationships, respect and opportunities and outline practical actions to build strong relationships to enhance respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
Representative bodies
The Education Directorate regularly meets with the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Consultative Group and the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body to discuss local and national educational issues and directions.
Canberra CareersXpo The Rotary Club of Canberra City, in conjunction with the Education Directorate, has held the Canberra CareersXpo over a number of years. The CareersXpo is a major service for young people, families and the wider community looking to explore further education, training and employment options or a career change.
In August 2015, approximately 8,000 students from the ACT and regional NSW visited the CareersXpo held at Exhibition Park, Canberra. More than 80 exhibitors represented universities employer groups, training providers, apprenticeships, trades, private providers and government agencies.
Planning Future Pathways Expo was run in conjunction with the CareersXpo. The exhibitors provided information about disability services, planning career pathways, employability skills, further education and training, volunteering, recreation and community participation.
The Indigenous Employment Exhibition featured various businesses, training providers and government agencies and provided information about career and education opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the ACT.
WorldSkills Australia’s ‘Try a Skill’ was available to students who wanted to try their hand at trades and skills including hairdressing and beauty therapy, fitness, surveying and mapping, automotive, brick and block laying, horticulture, floristry, baking, bookkeeping, first aid, aged care, business technology services and hospitality.
Major Partnerships The Education Directorate has a range of specific partnerships with business and community groups that support education and celebrate with excellence among ACT public schools.
In this reporting period, programs from major partnerships included:
  • Public Education Foundation – a scholarship for ACT public schools – six scholarships awarded – one is for University level study
  • Capital Chemist – a scholarship program for year 11 ACT public college students – 34 scholarships awarded
  • Country Women’s Association – a scholarship program for all ACT year 11 students – six scholarships awarded
  • Paperchain Bookstore, Manuka – sponsors the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge for all ACT schools and Year 10 Excellence Awards for ACT public schools
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation – an award program for all ACT primary school students
  • Canberra Refugee Support – a scholarship program for ACT public school students
  • Rotary Club of Canberra City
  • Vikings Group
  • Binuti Construction Pty Ltd
  • Hawker Brownlow Education
  • Teachers Mutual Bank
  • ACT Children’s Week
  • the Returned Services League of Australia Woden Valley Sub-Branch Incorporated
  • Canberra Institute of Technology; and
  • Surveying and Spatial Science Institute.
School Volunteer Program – ACT Incorporated The School Volunteer Program ACT (SVPACT) recruits, trains and manages volunteers who mentor students in ACT public schools. The program is governed by a committee consisting of current and former principals, teachers and volunteers with many years experience in community service. The committee organises regular training and networking opportunities for the SVPACT volunteers.
Public Education Week 2016 Public Education Week is an annual celebration held across Australia to celebrate the achievements of teachers, support staff, students and the community. In 2016, Public Education Week is held from the 20–27 May.
Public Education Week is used to raise awareness of the public education system and the achievement of our schools, their teachers, staff, students as well as community.
Children’s Education ACT (CEACT) Forum Each year Children’s Education ACT organises and participates in a range of educative forums and deliberative forums with the early childhood sector. The forum is made up of representatives from both the education and care sector and other ACT Government Directorates. The forum is an important mechanism for coordinating sector-wide advice to the Minister, and for initiating responses to common issues across the sector. In this reporting period CEACT collaborated with Communities@Work to present Achieving the NQF Symposium.
Education and Care Sector meetings Education and Care Sector meetings were held in August 2015, November 2015 and March 2016. Education and Care Sector stakeholders attend the meetings, which cover topical issues in the sector, with a focus over recent years on developing a strong understanding of the National Quality Framework.
Children’s Education and Care Assurance Newsletters Monthly newsletters are distributed to the sector providing a range of topical and important information.
School Capital Works During 2015–16, the Education Directorate continued stakeholder consultation on the planning, design and construction of capital works projects for new and existing schools and childcare centres. The Education Directorate engaged with external stakeholders on capital works projects. Internal consultations were also undertaken with school principals, school boards and school Parents and Citizens (P&C) Associations on planned works at schools and master plans, and with childcare centre operators on planned works at childcare centres.
Traffic and parking consultations The Education Directorate actively involves school communities – including school staff, school boards and P&C Associations – in consultation regarding traffic and parking at schools. Consultation occurs through meetings with stakeholders specifically on traffic and parking, through regular school meetings such as school board meetings and through inviting comment on traffic reports. In responding to feedback from school communities, the Education Directorate works across Government Directorates, particularly Territory and Municipal Services, Health and Justice and Community Safety Directorates.

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