Calls for independent inquiry into underperformance in ACT schools

The ongoing decline in academic performance in ACT schools needs to be addressed as a matter of priority, Shadow Education Minister Elizabeth Lee said.
This week in Legislative Assembly, Ms Lee will call on the ACT government to establish an independent inquiry into underperformance in ACT schools to determine methods for improving academic outcomes.
The call comes after evidence provided over the past three years from the Lamb Report, the ACT Auditor-General, and academics from the Australian National University all confirmed systemic academic underperformance in ACT schools.
“It’s time for the Labor government to acknowledge the elephant in the room,” Ms Lee said.
“The cost of education in Canberra per student is the highest in Australia, and yet performance in ACT schools continues to lag.
“Despite overwhelming evidence of decline, the government’s latest education strategy has failed to recognise underperformance in our schools, and has therefore failed to outline a plan to strengthen academic outcomes.
“I have real concerns that Education Minister Yvette Berry regards the fundamentals in education, such as literacy and numeracy, as redundant.
“Our students are caught in an education strategy that is not geared toward ensuring the best possible academic outcomes, under an Education Minister who thinks facts and figures are irrelevant.
“It’s this sort of misguided ministerial oversight that can make it difficult for our hardworking teachers and principals who are committed to excellence in education and support all students to reach their fullest potential.
“The government dishonours our students, parents and school communities when it fails to provide excellence in education, despite having the resources to do so.
“Ultimately, there needs to be an independent inquiry into academic underperformance with the intention of developing strategies to improve outcomes,” Ms Lee concluded.