Evidence for Learning has responded to the Education Council’s communiqué, released today after the meeting of education Ministers in Hobart, by calling for increased focus on evidence to inform upcoming funding decisions.
Matthew Deeble, Director of Evidence for Learning, a national, independent non-profit organisation that helps educators increase learning through better evidence, said:
‘Minister Birmingham has said repeatedly that every education dollar should be invested in programs with evidence of success but State and Commonwealth governments haven’t put forward a plan of how to achieve this evidence-based investment.
‘We should be investing in a national, independent and impartial evidence body that can be used by all school systems – State, Territory, Catholic and Independent.
‘All sides agree that directing funding towards evidence based programs is critical to improving outcomes for learners but our leaders remain stuck in an argument about dollars, while we aren’t doing nearly enough to help schools spend their money on the most impactful programs.
‘Australia’s stagnating performance in international educational rankings can only be improved if we arm our teachers with access to the best evidence in approaches to learning.
‘We need to be much more effective at generating evidence; sharing it with school leaders and teachers and providing them with the tools to implement evidence-based programs.
‘We all need to work with current global research on what works best and to carry out further research in Australian schools to find out what works in the local context.
‘And we need to share this knowledge with school leaders and teachers in trusted and useful forms that so that they can apply it in the context of their school and classroom.
‘Teachers and principals are the true champions for improvement in this debate. Every day they do their best to improve learning for all their kids within constrained budgets; they should have help to make their best efforts even more effective.
‘Our political leaders need to reach a common commitment to support programs based on strong evidence and give educators better information to improve the learning pay-off from their precious education dollars.’ Mr Deeble said.
Evidence for Learning is incubated by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) with the support of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Education Endowment Foundation (UK) as founding partners.