Professor urges Qld Govt to embark on education reform

THE Newman government has been urged to reform Queensland's education sector by improving quality and spending money more effectively.

Professor Scott Prasser, executive director of the Public Policy Institute at the Australian Catholic University, told a think tank in Brisbane this week Queensland was uniquely placed to change the way education is delivered in the state.

"Education reform could be a key policy priority … [It] need not be costly. It is not more money that is needed, but spending existing funds more effectively that is the challenge," said Prof Prasser, a critic of the Gonski Review into education reform which calls for billions of extra funding for the sector.

"The Queensland Government is now in a position, after nearly 12 months in office, to consider what its policy priorities might be and how these, once decided, can be successfully implemented."

Prof Prasser's reform proposals are contained in a discussion paper, Queensland's Education Future: Options for Reform, which was commissioned by Independent Schools Queensland, which also convened this week's think tank.

The discussion paper details a number of options to achieve reform, including developing a more flexible system with greater ease of entry into the education market by non-government providers, and promoting more choice for the "consumers of education services - parents and students, employers and workers".

Effective reform should centre on improving quality in education across teacher recruitment, standards of education outcomes and breadth of key learning areas, Prof Prasser argues.

ISQ executive director David Robertson said a number of proposals for education reform were outlined at the think tank, which was attended by key education stakeholders and decision-makers.

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