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OECD report card shows Labor must deliver a plan to reverse declining education standards

Shadow Minister for Education, Sarah Henderson, has welcomed the release of the Education Policy Outlook in Australia report by the OECD.
“The report confirms the former Coalition Government left a well-funded and resourced early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education system, but highlights poor discipline, teacher shortages and student disengagement as challenges facing the Albanese Labor Government,” Senator Henderson said.
Among the OECD’s most concerning findings is that Australian “…student performance, as measured in some large-scale assessments, has been stagnant or shown some decline for older school students.”
The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) found Australia remains a high performer,“ …although with a trend of a gradual decline in PISA scores since its first participation in 2000.”  The report also highlighted that “… high spending on education has not always translated to improved student performance or equity across the system.”
“Making sure the education system is well resourced is important, but sadly this is not translating to higher student performance. A focus on student outcomes, by making sure children are able to read and write at an early age, and providing intervention and support when they face challenges, is vital,” Senator Henderson said.  
“The education sector is a key driver of Australia’s economic prosperity but faces little accountability for poor performance.  “Despite a 60 per cent increase in schools funding over two decades, we are seeing a decline in education standards and that needs to urgently change,” Senator Henderson said.
“Labor is caught up in a vortex of education reviews, but Australian parents are seeing no plan to lift standards such as by requiring every school to adopt evidence-based learning like explicit instruction and the teaching of phonics. There is far too much talk from Education Minister Jason Clare, and not nearly enough action.”
“We also need to focus on the classroom, including providing a safe, productive learning environment.  The report highlights classroom disruption, including bullying, as areas where Australia could draw on international experience to survey, document and implement better learning environments for our students,” Senator Henderson said.
“I look forward to continuing to work constructively with the sector to support the vital reforms necessary to improve student learning outcomes,” Senator Henderson concluded.

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