Leading Learning 4 All compliments the elements contained within the Australian Professional Standard for Principals and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and relate directly to existing legislation, policy and practice in Australian schools.
Opportunities are provided to:
Assess progress and challenges in making learning accessible for all
Reflect on, and refine, an inclusive vision for your school
Consider a range of start points to grow the concept of a community of inclusive learning practice
Link to the Australian Professional Standards
Access reference material to inform thinking
4Leaders Moving Forward
Your role is to create a school in which all students become ‘successful learners, confident creative individuals and active informed citizens’ (The Melbourne Declaration, 2008). This means that the needs and expectations of students with disability and additional learning needs should be fully considered in all decision-making.
School leaders do this by developing ‘communities of inclusive learning practice’ in which they:
Encourage innovative actions to enable a greater diversity of learners to be successful members of their school community
Spearhead the development of whole-school policies geared to the needs and aspirations of all students
Model positive approaches to students with disability and additional learning needs
Initiate school review procedures to identify gaps in practice
Demonstrate a capacity to be flexible in responding to policy imperatives
Champion professional reflection to enable greater empathy with students with disability and additional learning needs.
Model of Professional Practice
The Model of Professional Practice within the Australian Professional Standard for Principles, centres on a ‘plan and act, review and respond approach’, which will be highly familiar to many school leaders. The model captures the concept of continuous improvement, as well as the idea of different levels of analysis and actions based on context and the assumptions that underpin actions. A more comprehensive explanation can be found in the resource section of the website.
In Australia there is a requirement that all students with disability and additional learning needs are included in schools. This requirement is articulated both in law and in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These state that teachers must identify and use strategies that differentiate learning for students with disability and additional learning needs (Standard 1.5), understand the legislation with regard to students with disability and additional learning needs (Standard 1.6), and support the inclusive participation and engagement of students with disability and additional learning needs (Standard 4.1).
All teachers should have the opportunity to demonstrate their professional capabilities mapped against the Standards in their daily practice. This is an important starting point, reinforcing that Leading Learning 4 All is everybody’s daily work.
The Australian Professional Standard for Principals explicitly specifies that access to learning is the right of all Australian students.
Addressing fundamental rights demonstrates Australia’s commitment to both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Childand to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Ensures alignment with Commonwealth legislation including that relating to Human Rights, Disability Discrimination, Disability Standards for Education, Work Health and Safety, Children and Young People.
The net financial cost to Australia of failing to address the educational needs of students with disabilities and additional learning needs is significant.
A national alignment with international practices in inclusive education maintains Australia’s global position as a leading nation of educational, social and welfare innovation.
4Leaders - Think Bubble
"Research indicates that school leaders improve the quality of teaching and student outcomes by building strong professional communities. Schools with a strong professional culture are characterised by shared norms and values, a focus on student learning, collaborative approaches to work, reflective inquiry into teaching practices and deprivatisation of practice". (Ingvarson, 2016)
"We continually challenge our staff. Are we meeting the needs of all the children in the class? Putting students first is very important, so trying to make adjustments to the curriculum is very important. We also revisit the mission and vision and make sure that we align our practices with our talk."
"We also want the teachers to maintain reflective practice. At the end of a day or with their co-teachers, or with the deputy of learning and teaching, they reflect on things they put in place. The plans they had, did they work, what do they need to adjust, and how can they make this better for the students involved?"
"The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Education Standards), which are established under the Disability Discrimination Act 1991, outline the minimum requirements for education and training providers to ensure students with disability are able to access and participate in education on the same basis as other students. Many disability representative, advocacy and legal organisations report that despite implementation of the Education Standards, access, equity and entitlement to an education is still a significant issue for children, young people and adults with disability." (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Report on Australia, 2013)