Our 2021 conference, Equity & Inclusion: A World-Class Education for All, explores the premise that you cannot achieve excellence in education without achieving equity. To this end, we have assembled for you some of the best national and international researchers with an interest in equity and excellence including Professor Gert Biesta (Maynooth University, Ireland), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Gonski Institute for Education), Professor Adrian Piccoli (Gonski Institute for Education) and Professor Tanya Fitzgerald (University of WA), to share their insights into why equity and inclusion matter, what changes we should be seeking to education policy at the State and Federal levels, and how might research-informed practice help us to work differently ourselves – in our classrooms, in our schools and in our school collaborations – so that all students, regardless of background, achieve a world-class education.
This year’s conference is planned as Part 1 of a 3 Part conference series – a trilogy – designed to help us to problematize the issues of equity and inclusion as they relate to our interests in an excellent education for all. Whilst the 2022 and 2023 conferences will be geared more to sharing professional practices that balance the equity and excellence agendas in education, our 2021 conference is intended to provide opportunities for us to explore current thinking.
- What are the issues of policy and practice for school leaders?
- What is working? Why?
- What is not working? Why not?
- What could we do differently?
Why focus on equity and inclusion?
Almost 20 years ago, Professor Pat Thomson, a former SASPA President, said,
“The big question is how a public education system can achieve commonality and diversity whilst catering for the full range of its students.”
(Xpress, Volume 4 Number 2, 15th February 2001.)
Experience tells us that this question remains as big and as pressing today as it was to our 2001 school leaders. The challenge remains for us to ensure that the life chances of every one of our students is helped by what we are doing as contemporary leaders to better address issues of equity and inclusion in our classrooms, our schools and across our public education system.
This year’s conference speaks directly to our commitment to the “public” aspect of public education.
On behalf of the SASPA Board, we look forward to seeing you at the National Wine Centre on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th August.