Education Council meets for last time, commissions EYLF and MTOP updates
The Sector > Policy > Education Council meets for last time, commissions EYLF and MTOP updates

Education Council meets for last time, commissions EYLF and MTOP updates

by Jason Roberts

December 15, 2020

The Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) quarterly convening of all state and territory ministers for education, the Education Council, has commissioned an update to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector’s two key learning frameworks. 


In addition, the Council signed off on a set of recommendations and improvement opportunities post the review of the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), and endorsed the National Quality Framework Review – Consultation Regulation Impact Statement. 


The meeting was the final such meeting in its current configuration. Following the National Cabinet’s adoption of the findings of the Conran Review, Education Ministers will continue to meet in 2021 under the banner of the Education Ministers Meeting, with a revised focus on key strategic priorities and an emphasis on delivering effective outcomes.


Approved Learning Frameworks to be subjected to an update after decade of use


The Education Council has commissioned an update of The Early Years Learning Framework and My Time, Our Place, the first such update since the introduction of the National Quality Framework (NQF) in 2012. 


The review will seek to ensure that the frameworks continue to reflect contemporary developments in practice and knowledge while supporting all educators to best meet the learning and development needs of each child, and has been triggered to some degree by feedback from sector stakeholders provided as part of the initial phase of the NQF Review. 


A complete Terms of Reference has been created in which scope, key deliverables and timelines are articulated with the updated learning frameworks expected to be implemented in early 2023.


ACECQA Review results in recommendations and improvement opportunities


The Education Council’s review to ensure that the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) operations remain ‘fit for purpose’ in the current Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) environment was completed in 2019 with a response to that review to be crafted and subsequently published. 


The Review response is now complete and resulted in ten recommendations and eleven improvement opportunities, many of which have been completed or are in progress.


Although the meeting communiqué did not provide any specifics on the findings it did commit to publishing the Review on it’s website in the coming weeks.


Education Council endorses NQF Review: Consultation Regulation Impact Statement


The review of the National Quality Framework, which commenced in earnest with the release of its Terms of Reference in April 2019, has progressed to the point where its Consultation Regulation Impact Statement has been completed and consequently endorsed by the Education Council. 


Engagement on the Review will include a mix of online and face-to-face events (depending on local COVID-19 conditions) with stakeholders given the opportunity to contribute feedback through written submission and surveys. 


Engagement will commence in early 2021.


The scope of the 2019 review of the NQF includes an assessment of whether the objectives of the NQF are being met in the current operating environment and consideration as to possible improvements in the system, in particular around appropriate governance arrangements and funding of the cost of regulatory services.


The Quality Areas, Standards and Elements of the National Quality Framework as well as the Approved Learning Frameworks were out of scope in this period’s review.

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