APPA is the national voice for all Primary School Principals across Australia
It has always been important that, during the formative years of primary schooling, all Australian children acquire the academic and social foundations for a full and rewarding life. To achieve this, primary school educators have developed complex and sophisticated approaches to teaching within an environment where the identity and culture of each child is embraced and celebrated.
Currently, resourcing focuses predominantly on the last few years of high school; yet it is during the middle and upper years of primary schooling that the gap between the most and least successful students widens.
In order to address this achievement gap, Australian children must receive an education that is resourced to the level and standard of the world’s most successful school education systems.
Furthermore, this challenge cannot be met by a ‘more of the same’ approach. Primary schools must be transformed in the following ways:
- Teaching and Learning Leadership and professional support must be provided to every teacher.
- Administrative support must be to a level which allows school leaders to focus on student learning and teacher professional development, and ensures that teachers can focus on teaching in the classroom.
- Early, focused and sustained intervention that addresses both learning and wellbeing must be available for every student in every school.
- Technology to enable 21st Century learning, and the skills to use and maintain that technology, must be present in every school and classroom.
Primary schools are increasingly responsible for the provision of the social foundations upon which Australian society is built and for the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of students. There are also more complex relationships with parents and an increasing number of community partnerships for which primary schools are deemed responsible. Simply stated, meeting these demands requires greater capacity and resourcing.
If Australian students at all levels are to receive the world’s best education then an increased investment in the primary school years is vital.