Policy Reform and Innovation Strategy

The Policy Reform and Innovation Strategy [PDF 527KB] sets out how Education for a Changing World seeks to prepare students to thrive in a rapidly changing world by empowering schools and communities to lead innovation.


Education for a Changing World intends to ensure our education system is one where:

  • Children and young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to engage in and shape a 21st century of opportunity, complexity and challenge

  • Teachers and school leaders have the skills, knowledge and support to best prepare students for lifelong engagement with learning

  • The education system welcomes, tests and develops innovative approaches to learning.

The challenge

Education for a Changing World seeks to address key questions and challenges that face education in the 21st century, including:

  • If we need to lift the skill level of all students, what changes might need to make to curriculum and assessment?

  • If innovation is critical to Australia's future, how can we introduce and support greater innovation within education?

  • If we expect tomorrow's students to be able to know more, learn more and do more, what does this mean for supporting teachers?

Key elements of the strategy

Education for a Changing World has both policy and practical dimensions, with three core elements.

Embedding a structured and effective innovation system

Our initiative has a strong focus on innovation in education. It combines new ways of learning and teaching with well-proven, enduring elements of schooling.

Shaping NSW, national and global education policy

Education for a Changing World helps to shape NSW and Australian education directions by bringing high quality thinking, insight and evidence to solve challenges - not only reviewing evidence of what is known but also exploring cutting-edge ideas and how they work in practice.

Leading edge experimentation and delivery

As well as focusing on innovation and reforms connected to 21st century learning and thinking skills, Education for a Changing World works with colleagues and partners to help solve other emerging educational challenges that need innovative solutions.

Thinking skills

Just as literacy and numeracy are the foundation of learning, teaching young people how we think and discover unlocks lifelong access to knowledge.

Many 21st century thinking skills have been identified as important but some are especially crucial in preparing students for a future of artificial intelligence and complex global change. These include critical thinking, computational thinking and ethical reasoning.

New approaches to learning

Education for a Changing World leads policy and innovation around new approaches to learning, which help young people in classrooms today develop the skills they will need to shape the future.

One example is the Applied Learning approach. Students apply knowledge and skills to solve real problems and engage in meaningful experiences - both in the classroom and beyond.

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