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Save the Children backs National School Reform Agreement report, calls for focus on student wellbeing

Leading child rights organisation welcomes report’s recommendations on making education system better and fairer for all students.
12 December 2023

Prioritising student wellbeing is critical in the next National School Reform Agreement, said Save the Children Australia today, with a new report released by an expert panel highlighting the need for a stronger focus on wellbeing, improved funding and greater equity across nation’s education sector.

The leading child rights organisation supports the recommendations in the review published by the expert panel, led by Dr Lisa O’Brien, including prioritising investment in evidence-based approaches to improving wellbeing. 

Wellbeing, engagement, and learning have been called the three pillars of quality education and are inextricably linked, with student wellbeing and engagement the foundations for successful learning, healthy development, and long-term life outcomes.

Matt Gardiner, CEO of 54 reasons, which delivers Save the Children’s services in Australia, said the organisation welcomes the recommendations around enhancing wellbeing, funding and educational equity in the report, and emphasises the importance of a national approach when it comes to addressing student wellbeing.

“This latest report released by the expert panel provides a clear mandate for federal and state governments to prioritise student wellbeing in the next National School Reform Agreement, ensuring the education system is better and fairer for all students. 

“All children have a right to education that is inclusive and meets their individual circumstances, that is why we have consistently called for a robust national measure of student wellbeing and engagement, combined with substantial investment in evidence-based support for students and schools.

“We know that lower wellbeing is linked to lower engagement in learning and worse educational outcomes. In order to adequately address student wellbeing, schools must be given the right support to ensure every child has the best chance of reaching their full potential.

“A meaningful national commitment to improving student wellbeing would provide funding and guidance for schools to access specialist school-based support and programs like our Hands on Learning program, to support student wellbeing and engagement.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Mala Darmadi on 0425562113 or


Save the Children is a leading global non-government organisation focused on children’s rights that has been active in Australia for over 100 years. 54 reasons delivers Save the Children’s services in Australia, working alongside children and their families and communities in accordance with the 54 articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  
Save the Children and 54 reasons’ submission into the expert panel review can be found here, as well as the submission into the Senate Inquiry into the national trend of school refusal here

Hands on Learning, run by 54 Reasons, builds wellbeing, engagement, and school attendance by creating opportunities for students to discover their talents and experience success through practical learning outside the traditional classroom setting. 

Stay up to date on how Save the Children is creating a world where every child has a safe and happy childhood