Aboriginal education policy and key documents

The NSW Department of Education has a range of policies and key documents supporting the improved educational outcomes of Aboriginal students in NSW public schools.

Aboriginal Education Policy

The Aboriginal Education Policy confirms the NSW Department of Education's commitment to improvement in educational outcomes and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. It demonstrates our commitment to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy 2015.

Turning Policy into Action guide

In November 2008, Aboriginal Education and Communities (now Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships) created Turning Policy into Action (PDF 983KB). This guide supports the implementation of the Aboriginal Education Policy across the Department.

Partnership Agreement with NSW AECG Inc.

The Partnership Agreement 2020-2030, Walking Together, Working Together between the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Incorporated (NSW AECG Inc.) agrees to use best endeavours to ensure that every Aboriginal child and young person in NSW achieves their potential through education. It recognises the NSW AECG as the peak community advisory body to the department on Aboriginal education at all levels and in all stages of planning and decision making.

Learn more about the important work of the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy sets out the principles and priorities that act as a framework to guide jurisdictions in developing and implementing localised policies and actions to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It also outlines the first of a series of national collaborative actions.

You can read a summary of the national strategy vision, key principles and priority areas.

Closing the Gap Strategy

In December 2018, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to finalise a refreshed Closing the Gap framework (new National Agreement and revised targets) in genuine, formal partnership between governments and representatives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The new Closing the Gap Strategy was released on 30 July 2020.

10 Year Plan - Footprints to the Future

Footprints to the Future is a 10-year plan to strengthen education for Aboriginal learners in NSW Public Schools. Footprints to the Future supports the implementation of evidence-based practices for learners and staff to ensure the educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people are as good as or better than those of the general student population in New South Wales. The Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate (AOPD) aligns with and delivers the goals of the Department of Education’s Strategic Plan by ensuring that every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools.

The AOPD will achieve this through our commitment to continuous improvement where all learners, teachers and leaders are supported to grow and improve. AOPD undertakes authentic collaboration with internal and external partners in implementing the Partnership Agreement with the NSW AECG Inc., Premier’s Priorities, Executive Priorities and Closing the Gap Outcomes through its strategic focus on students, staff and communities.

There are four primary focus areas within the plan:

  1. Partnership with Aboriginal Communities
  2. Aboriginal Staff
  3. All staff and Learners
  4. Aboriginal Learners

Strong Strides Together

This resource developed by the NSW Department of Education’s Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation brings together the evidence on ways that schools can contribute to the educational success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The paper outlines current policies and frameworks that should inform teachers and school leaders when working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students. These policies and frameworks provide the foundation for promoting the success of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students in school.

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