Thursday, 5 November 2015

Regional Directors briefing

The Education State 
Principals briefings
Mercure Inn Ballarat 06/11/15
Meeting started at 9:00am

The Reform Agenda ( just under $4 billion in spending)
Minister Merlino : A system where every student has a chance in a better supported school system. Evidence that we  focus on what matters the most. setting targets.Effective reforms means relentlessly focusing on achievable objectives that make a difference.

The Education State is about culture change and our identity as Victorians.
Victoria already has an excellent education system but we can be better.
Victoria needs to be the knowledge/skills state.
Key themes include the importance of early years, student wellbeing all students deserve the same access to a great education, vital partnerships, great teaching not just in literacy and numeracy and clear learning and career pathways.

The Education State is about:
Ambitious and achievable targets about the whole child.
Committing to a small number of system priorities.
And great system means we care about developing young people ready for work and life ( Refer Melbourne Declaration)
targets will focus on excellence and equity.( 10-5 year targets which sound achieve able - 25% increase in an average sized primary school only means 2-3 more students in higher NAPLAN success range)
Targets in LEARNING FOR LIFE-  more students become creative thinkers, more students excel in reading, arts, maths and science.
Targets in HAPPY KIDS-resilience, staying in education, reducing the impact of disadvantage and more physically active.
Targets in PRIDE AND CONFIDENCE IN SCHOOLS- measures to be still developed.This overlays everything. The government school system needs to become the education system of choice.
If this can be done it would be a good outcome for Victoria.

Government support:
Huge increase in funding.
Catch up loading for children who have fallen behind ( OECD framework used)The catch up in funding is about inclusion.
$13 million for kids in out of home care.
$8 million to coordinate government and non government agencies to case manage some children not engaged in education.
Stronger regional support: Kept 4 regions and introduced 17 local areas.150 more staff in regions and increased support at a local level.
The system to set priorities at a system level. There will be a shared approach to school improvement.
More PD in delivering the new curriculum in 2017.
200 maths and science specialists in disadvantaged primary schools.( Refer Horsham Primary where this is starting in 2016)

Funding reform
Individual circumstances and context matter.There is a strong link between student performance and their parental background and previous performance. Low performing children ( based on student occupation) will be funded regardless of the school's they attend.New social disadvantage loading of $330 million in 2016,important that kids don't fall behind early so more funding delivered to primary schools.Twice as much going to rural than metro schools. This is a measure of need throughout the state.The new model purports to ensure that students and schools with the highest level of need receive the highest level of financial support.Funding will remain unchanged in 2016.

Regional support
Collaboration between school, within schools and communities essential.
Regions need to support schools and networks need to be able create more opportunities for schools to share best practices.
We need to recommit with our partners outside of schools ( such as DHS )
Five areas in our region starting in 2016.
Principals have been asking for more support and resources ( systemised collective efficacy)
more tailored support required. Not one size fits all.Challenges in our large region are great. New multidisciplinary teams will be working with schools to improve outcomes . Connecting with well being services as well ( holistic approach )
Senior Improvement Leaders ( 30 positions advertised 1:25 schools) for our region.
Rural Victorian schools have not received the support it needs. rebalancing metro and country areas - not ideal but more support.

School leadership features:
Networks to be chaired by leading principals
More support to relieve the burden on principals
More equity support
Better area based support
More round tables in regional office to analyse data
Integrity leadership groups ( a result of the IBAC hearings which unearthed corruption and poor practices. DET has started a 3 year integrity program with a leadership focus in 2015-16)

Curriculum Changes
18 months of implementation
F-10 curriculum
ACARA developed the curriculum
Curriculum is a state responsibility

Changes ( Not huge changes from AUsVELs in the top 4 areas)
Structured by levels not years
Australian curriculum incorporated.
Achievements standard for capabilities
Inclusion of level A-D
Strengthening phonics
Coding included
Science 3 strands to 2
A scope and sequence can be extracted for each domain onto A3 sheets. ( These will also be published in a folder form and distributed to schools in 2016.)
Pyne ( ex Federal education minister) commissioned a review of the Australian Curriculum and could have lead to dramatic change in the Victorian curriculum ( this put our reforms on hold) and ACARA added some changes such as additional phonics learning.
Still 8 learning areas and 4 capabilities.Scope for cross curricular opportunities.
4 critical capabilities are what are expected of students at the end of their learning- creative thinking, intercultural understanding, ethical understanding and personal and social capabilities.
Digital technology is new material including coding.It is about understanding how to use technology to improve understanding. It will be a challenge to deliver for the system.DET will support schools to deliver this.
Respectful relationships is already in framework form in the curriculum. More support will be available. ( Replacement for SRI, an introduction of the worlds core beliefs)

Curriculum support (evolution from AusVELS)
PD with CRT support -
2 school based planning days in school with CRTS support.( Money to go to the school for this)
Timeline: New curriculum to be implemented in 2017

Insight Assessment Platform
Implementation in 2016
A site which will include assessment tools for schools.( Linear data rather than adaptive at the moment)
DET are looking for schools to pilot the program.( It should include On Demand eventually)

Framework for Improving Student outcomes
'Every child will have access to quality education'
Discussion about the challenges children have to access a quality education (The story of Mulalwa was discussed and her struggle for all children everywhere to access learning)
Victorian student data has flat lined and we need to share best practice and excellence across schools and the system to get even better data.
We looked at the Improving Student Outcomes model.( 4 priorities: excellence in teaching, professional leadership, positive climate, community engagement)

Collaborative approach
The collaborative approach to learning depends on:
Positive relationships, high expectations, feedback, focus on whole person,high quality teaching, don't dumb down the curriculum and instructional leadership.
Some barriers to collaboration are disruptions to learning, cost and time.Performance management practices under the previous government were poor but we need to do something about underperformance in schools.

System support for FISO ( Framework for Improving Student Outcomes) 
Focussing not on the school but on professional practice.( That is where student improvement will come from )
Looking for changes in behaviour of students , teachers and leaders.
High level collaborative practices  such as moderation will help with student success.
What are the learning needs in the school and how does that impact on teachers?
The new AIP is about tracking how well we are doing and whether we are seeing practice changes. Moderation of student assessment ( Rubrics with common assessment tasks and students marking their work and sharing- student voice needs to be harnessed) important.
Documented scope and sequence when new curriculum developed. 
AIP template and timeline provided.

Meeting closed at 1:00 pm

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