Federal Goverment policies: gifts or curses?

The Rudd Labor Government has moved at some pace to deliver on its election promises in relation to secondary schooling. They have set an ambitious agenda for implementation and this has led to some unease and concerns within the education community.

computer_gift-or-curse.jpgThis is particularly so in the area of trade centres and its digital education revolution. For me, the current promises are great resources for schools. We have actually got what many educators have been asking for, for some time – a recognition that we need to focus our funding in the right areas in order to make our schools more relevant.

The two policy initiatives surely fit this case. Let’s separate the policy initiative from the implementation processes needed to deliver on the promises. There has been some concern and indeed some negativity in the education community at both the pace and methodology for implementation. This unease has some solid basis but I hope that this does not translate into suspicion and opposition.

Systems and schools are right to raise issues and sometimes curse the pressures put on already strained agendas, but let’s focus on the real benefits to be derived for our school communities.

One of the real challenges for the education community from such policy agendas is to work more collaboratively with other systems and sectors on implementation processes. This is critical given the ever increasing costs for providing schooling in today’s world. We have to be creative and imaginative in how we build new relationships and partnerships to deliver to schools.

I have long held the view that we need to move our thinking about schools as little isolated entities operating much like a “cottage industry”, to an “enterprise” operation. This also reflects the change from an industrial to a knowledge age and schooling today requires the same shift. 

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