Sunday, 12 Aug 2007

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release Sunday 12 August 2007 Education reform requires increased resources High expectations for the reform of school education can only be met if there is a dramatic increase in resources, according to former University of Melbourne Dean of Education Professor Brian Caldwell. Professor Caldwell will call for leadership for radical transformation in schools education at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) annual conference on Tuesday. According to Professor Caldwell, there are high expectations in Australia and comparable countries for the reform of school education — but significant, systematic and sustained change is required if these outcomes are to be achieved. Success for all students in all settings can only be achieved if there is a dramatic increase in resources. This does not mean an exclusive reliance on more money, however: while financial capital is vital, intellectual capital, social capital and spiritual capital are also important. Some schools are in more challenging financial circumstances than others, but may be rich in other areas, such as having a highly skilled staff, strong community links, or a clear whole-school vision, all of which should be valued. “This means building the level of knowledge and skill of all staff, getting the support of the wider community including business, and having a strong moral purpose and conviction that all students can do well even in challenging circumstances. All of this requires very effective leadership not just by the school principal but by a team of leaders in the school,” says Caldwell. “Some schools do this outstandingly well and we need to highlight and acknowledge how well some schools do this even in challenging circumstances.” Building strength in each and securing their alignment have profound implications for leadership and governance in schools. There is a need for transformation in approaches to governance, especially in the public sector, and for transformation of programs for the preparation and professional development of school leaders. Professor Brian Caldwell is the Managing Director of Educational Transformations, the Associate Director of iNet, a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and the author of Re- imagining Educational Leadership. The ACER Research Conference 2007, The Leadership Challenge: Improving Learning in Schools, takes place in Melbourne from 12 to 14 August. ****************ENDS*************