• Secretary's update

Thank you for your commitment to learning

17 December 2020

A message of thanks to everyone working across NSW Education for their commitment in a remarkable year.

Video: Highlights from 2020

Duration - 2:39

Video of our highlights from 2020.

I know across NSW Education, our teams will be delighted to have reached the final week of the final school term of the year.

For many, it has been the longest year. Not only did it come after seasons of drought, fire and floods, but the uncertainty of the pandemic has been greatly challenging for many on a professional and personal level.

We can have a sense of satisfaction at how Australia has managed the terrible risk of widespread infection across the country. In doing so, making sure our early childhood education centres, our schools and our training facilities remained safe for students and staff, required enormous focus and effort at every place we work.

On behalf of the Executive team, I want to thank you all for your endeavours to prioritise safety and to ensure that all students remain connected to learning throughout 2020.

We had to change the way we worked, the way we connected with students and families and the way we worked with each other. The embrace of new technology, with supporting curriculum and assessment tools was a feature of the commitment shown all across the State.

And I know our colleagues in NSW Health are grateful for the vital work across NSW Education in providing important information to families about how to make COVID-safe practices a feature of households and local communities.

While we managed all that complexity, our commitment to improvement across the Education system continued with a clear-eyed focus.

If this year has taught us anything, it is that we are preparing young people for a highly complex, fast-changing and globally connected world. A year ago, none of us had heard of COVID, few of us had Zoomed. Now they are a feature of our lives.

We have seen the evidence this year, so our intense commitment to develop resilient, life-long learners remains more important than ever. This is our vital, shared responsibility.

A heartfelt thanks again for all your efforts, for the part you played in keeping our community safe and our students learning.

I do hope you have the chance to enjoy a break in the weeks ahead and find refreshment and renewal in the time away from work. May peace be yours.

Mark Scott

About the Secretary

Mark Scott is Secretary of the Department of Education. He has worked as a teacher, in public administration and as a journalist and media executive. He is committed to public education and learning environments where every child can flourish.

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