Educational reform can 'start now on the ground' without waiting for policy

Published:16 October 2019

Blue Sky Thinking forum participants L-R included Peter Hutton, Associate Professor Teressa Schmidt, Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton and Professor Pasi Sahlberg. BELOW: More highlights from the event.

There's no need to wait for the policy settings to be established before progressing with educational reform.

That was one of the key messages during a recent 'Blue Sky Thinking: Critical Conversations in Education' forum hosted by CQUniversity Noosa.

Educational leaders from across the Sunshine Coast and the Department of Education heard from feisty presenters including Future Schools Alliance founder Peter Hutton and Professor Pasi Sahlberg, a former Director General at Finland’s Ministry of Education who has featured on 60 Minutes and is now based at the Gonski Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Aimed squarely at promoting educational reform, the forum was an initiative of Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton and CQUniversity Noosa.

CQUniversity’s Associate Vice-Chancellor (Sunshine Coast region), Teressa Schmidt says the forum aimed to develop transformative ideas and goals for the education system, across both practice and policy.

"We aim to empower young people to take control of their future," she says.

"We are seeking solutions to the systemic inequity, where already disadvantaged students perform more poorly in disadvantaged schools. We acknowledge that standardised tests cannot measure educational quality.

"Moving forward, our participants have decided on a number of actions which can be started now – answering the question ‘what can I do on Monday?’

"There is a commitment to convene again to decide on our next actions, to continue the conversation and the momentum of ‘change on the ground’.

"We need to stop looking abroad for guidance on how to improve education system in Australia as the expertise we need is already in the country."