Labor Senators' additional comments

Labor Senators' additional comments

1.1Further to their comments in the committee’s interim report for this inquiry, Labor Senators reiterate their support for teachers and school leaders, who play an important role in the Australian community. We commend their commitment to their students and to the communities they work with.

1.2Labor Senators note the Engaged Classrooms resources developed by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) that were announced by the Albanese Labor Government in the 2022 October Budget. As noted in the committee’s final report, the first set of Engaged Classrooms resources are designed to support teachers. They have been designed as evidence-based practices to enhance students’ engagement in learning. The first set of resources released in December 2023 was developed specifically to support early career teachers or educators who want to update their practice.[1]

1.3Labor Senators note the comprehensive work completed by the Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System (the Review) and its final report that was released in December 2023. The Review highlighted three priority areas for investment in the next school reform agreement: equity, wellbeing, and workforce.[2]

1.4The Review recognises wellbeing as a crucial foundation for lifting student achievement, engagement, and attendance. It highlights that student wellbeing could be better supported by creating better connecting schools with allied health and community services.

1.5Labor Senators note that the Review found that:

wellbeing is crucial to lifting student achievement, engagement and attendance;

a range of out-of-school factors, including students’ socio-economic status, impact engagement at school, highlighting the need for improved equity in school education; and

teacher wellbeing is linked to student wellbeing and student engagement.

1.6Labor Senators note that the Review:

established that early identification of students vulnerable to falling behind in literacy and numeracy, and providing them with enhanced supports helps to ensure all students meet and remain at expected standards;

recommended that actions be taken to address disadvantage and support students at risk of being left behind in their learning;

recommended that systems prioritise evidence-based approaches to improving wellbeing;

found that teachers are met with increasingly complex student needs;

included considerations from international reviews looking into teaching methods; and

recommends that teachers and school leaders have evidence to high quality professional development and curriculum resources.

1.7Labor Senators note the progress of the Albanese Government as it moves towards a new schools agreement that benefits all Australian students, their teachers and communities.

Senator Tony Sheldon

Deputy Chair

Labor Senator for New South Wales

Senator Fatima Payman


Labor Senator for Western Australia


[1]The Hon Jason Clare MP, Minister for Education, ‘Helping teachers manage classrooms’, Media Release, 5 December 2023, (accessed 7 February 2024).

[2]Department of Education, Improving Outcomes for All: The Report of the Independent Expert Panel’s Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System, (accessed 6 February 2024).