The MCEETYA Four Year Plan ('Four Year Plan') supports the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians and outlines the key strategies and initiatives Australian governments will undertake in the following eight inter-related areas in order to support the achievement of the educational goals for young Australians:
developing stronger partnerships
supporting quality teaching and school leadership
strengthening early childhood education
enhancing middle years development
supporting senior years of schooling and youth transitions
promoting world-class curriculum and assessment
improving educational outcomes for Indigenous youth and disadvantaged young Australians, especially those from low socioeconomic backgrounds
strengthening accountability and transparency.
Relationship to COAG Productivity Agenda
The Four Year Plan has been developed in parallel with work undertaken through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on the national productivity agenda, and is closely aligned with relevant COAG activities.
At the COAG meeting on 29 November 2008, a number of activities referenced in the plan were formally agreed by Chief Ministers, including:
Low socioeconomic status school communities national partnership This partnership will address the needs of disadvantaged schools, while giving greater discretion to those school leaders and local school communities facing the greatest educational disadvantage to employ strategies that address the particular issues they face ($1.5 billion over seven years).
Smarter Schools – Teacher Quality national partnership This partnership will deliver ambitious, nationally-significant reforms to target critical points in the teacher ‘lifecycle’ to attract, train, place, develop and retain quality teachers and school leaders ($550 million over five years).
Literacy and Numeracy national partnership This partnership will focus on: achieving sustainable improvements in literacy and numeracy; improving literacy and numeracy for primary school students, especially Indigenous students; and developing a national understanding of what works and a shared accountability for the achievement of Australian students ($540 million over four years).
Early Childhood Education national partnership This partnership will focus on giving all children the opportunity to access quality early childhood education ($970 million over five years).
Greater transparency and accountability Through COAG, all jurisdictions agreed to a new performance reporting framework and agreed that the new Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority will be supplied with the information necessary to enable it to publish relevant, nationally comparable information on all schools to support accountability, school evaluation, collaborative policy development and resource allocation.
The Four Year Plan provides a framework for the planning of collaborative federalist activities in education, including relevant COAG activities such as those mentioned above. The Four Year Plan is not intended as a detailed implementation plan with indicators and timelines, as these details are more appropriately determined at the jurisdictional level, and in many cases this planning is already underway via the COAG process.
The public consultation process on the plan has now closed. Feedback on the draft plan was invited from mid December 2008 to 6 March 2009. Australian Education Ministers considered feedback received and key feedback is reflected in the final Four Year Plan.