On Wednesday 28 September I had the pleasure of presenting at the Australian Council of Education Leaders (ACEL) Conference – my last presentation as President after serving 6 years in the role.

With over 1200 delegates in attendance, this was an opportunity to shine the light on some key learnings from the progress we have made in Queensland over the last few years.

When we talk about investing in education, a common myth perpetuated by many in the public domain is that education funding is not making a difference. What is true here in Queensland however is that when funding for schools is distributed transparently and is complemented by evidence, empowerment and accountability, money makes a big difference to improving student performance.

Investing for Success has made additional resources available to Queensland state schools, with a focus on increased autonomy and increased accountability.  These resources give Principals and schools the power to create learning environments that meet the needs of every student. This means real innovation and excellence occurring every day, and workable accountability to measure school improvement.

Outcomes for Queensland students are changing, standards are lifting, and schools are making a difference. We have seen talented staff in complex schools driving positive changes thanks to additional targeted resourcing. These outcomes are multi-faceted, and include attendance, performance and health and wellbeing. This funding has delivered additional teachers, guidance officers, and support programs for at-risk students.

While we still have a long way to go and much more improvement required, quite simply, money makes a difference. Delivering a quality education system is a necessary investment.

Dr Jim Watterston presenting at the ACEL Conference

Dr Jim Watterston presenting at the ACEL Conference

ACEL CEO Aasha Murthy, Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, Dr Jim Watterston

ACEL CEO Aasha Murthy, Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham, Dr Jim Watterston