Welcome back for the 2017 school year. I hope everyone had a relaxing and refreshing break. I'd particularly like to welcome students, their parents and staff starting in our schools for the first time.
We return with a new Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, who has already confirmed her strong commitment to our education reforms and the importance of Gonski funding.
We welcome to the portfolio the new Minister for Education, Rob Stokes, and the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell.
Thank you to outgoing Ministers Adrian Piccoli and Leslie Williams. Mr Piccoli drove a comprehensive agenda of school reform, winning the strong support of the education community since 2011. Mrs Williams has seen the passage of significant reforms in Aboriginal Affairs and the enhancement of early childhood services. We thank them both for their service and commitment to the students and communities of NSW.
The world is transforming profoundly and quickly, and it is our great responsibility to prepare our children and young people so they can flourish through such change. The challenge in education is to ensure that every student is engaged at school and successfully learning. When children today leave school and enter the evermore demanding world beyond, our success in education will be measured by their ability to live healthy, productive and fulfilling lives.
To achieve this aim requires a shared responsibility of every person in the department so that every school delivers better outcomes for the students in our care.
The department has recently been reviewing the performance and progress of our education reforms. We remain committed to our reform agenda and in providing schools with the best possible support to implement those reforms.
May the year ahead be engaging and rewarding – a wonderful year of teaching and learning.