New school year starts with focus on students’ success

As schools start back for 2024, Education Minister Erica Stanford says there will be a relentless focus on ensuring students are achieving at school. 

“It’s concerning that student achievement has continued to decline, as evidenced in both international benchmarks and national measurements. This has to stop,” says Ms Stanford.  

“This Government has an aspirational target to get 80 per cent of our kids to achieving at the curriculum level by the time they finish intermediate so they can go on to experience academic success at high school. 

“This starts with the immediate actions this Government has taken as part of our 100 day plan.

“With primary and intermediate students back to the classroom, they will all spend at least an hour each day on reading, writing and maths. 

“Having this consistent and explicit approach to teaching reading, writing and maths across the country will help provide all children the opportunity to succeed and live the life they want.

“Additionally, schools are required to have rules ensuring students have their cellphones away for the day from Term 2. I expect many schools will be implementing these policies from Term 1.  

“The policy includes exemptions if a student needs to use a cellphone: 

  • When a teacher requires it for a specific educational task or purpose (i.e. class assignment) 
  • If needed for a health reason (i.e. monitoring insulin levels) 
  • To access disability or learning support needs (i.e. assist with impaired communication) 
  • Where the Principal decides it is needed for special circumstances (for example, the student is a teenage parent).   

“Schools already implementing cellphone free learning environments report increases in student engagement, concentration and wellbeing.

“I am committed to ensuring teachers are supported with a clear curriculum. I have appointed a Ministerial Advisory Group which has immediately started work on reviewing the English and maths curriculum with a focus on the science of learning.  

“A good education is crucially important to young people’s future success. 

“I’d like to wish all teachers and students the very best for the new school year, especially new entrants starting school for the first time and those starting a new school. It is an exciting time – make the most of it!”