Wellbeing Australia Position Statement on Education

Posted on February 8, 2015 · Posted in Aims & Principles, Policy

Wellbeing Australia is committed to supporting successful education for all children and young people. Education is successful when it nurtures social, emotional and academic potential and fully prepares young people for the complexities and possibilities of their future lives at work, at home and in their communities. Successful education facilitates positive contributions to the nation and encourages ethical responsibility in the global community.

Successful education enables young people to flourish in all aspects of life. Educational success does not reside solely in high test scores but in self-actualization (being able to become the best you can be), being healthy, resilient and engaged in life, having meaning and purpose alongside compassion for others.

Children have diverse abilities and backgrounds. We believe that effective education values and provides for the whole child and every child – whatever their culture, strengths or needs.

The Australian curriculum needs to provide for this in both content and implementation.

Alongside academic excellence the wellbeing of the whole child in all dimensions of their development is a vital and legitimate focus for education. Children’s wellbeing includes: opportunities to be creative, engage in free play; have a sense of belonging; learn the skills of relationships; understand what will keep them healthy in mind and body; and understand the democratic process and how they can participate. An important foundation of wellbeing is self-determination and the experience of being heard (having a voice). Children have a right to express their views and be involved in decisions that concern them (Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child). We fully support the rest of the Convention, especially Articles 28, 29 and 31**, and believe these should be given greater prominence in education.

When wellbeing is core school business there are better academic, behavioural and mental health outcomes. Wellbeing is more likely to be addressed when schools develop a respectful, supportive and caring school community that nurtures child wellbeing, teacher wellbeing and quality relationships with parents and the community.

Wellbeing Australia endorses the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, the NEST Action Agenda through our partnership with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, the Kidsmatter / Mindmatters initiatives in schools, the National Safe Schools framework and the Closing the Gap agenda.

We disseminate supporting evidence and best practice linked to these statements on our website, within our newsletters and other promotional activities.


**  Article 28 (Right to Education)
Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free. Secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect childrens human dignity.

Article 29 (Goals of Education)
Education must develop every childs personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the childs respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Article 31 (Leisure, Play and Culture)
Every child has the right to relax, play and join in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.


Download a printable copy of the statement here: Wellbeing Australia Position Statement on Education