I will remember this year in education for... the great sense of purpose and urgency that I pick up from educators as I travel around the country. The new Government has big plans for education, and there is a real sense of expectation and excitement out there. Our public education system is already performing well, but I know we can do even better.

Our proudest achievement this year... will be seeing through the introduction of a year of fees-free tertiary study for first-time students in time for 2018. Making tertiary study more affordable and accessible is not just a win for students and their families, it’s a win for the future of our economy. That’s why we made it part of our 100 day plan as an incoming government.

I predict the biggest issue in the sector for 2018 will be... the move away from the last Government’s obsession with constant assessment and reporting requirements for schools. We want teachers to get back to what they do best – teaching and inspiring our children.

Next year our priorities should be... working with the sector to focus on life-long learning and putting the needs of children, young people and adult learners at the heart of the education system. I want an education system that is focused on quality outcomes for all.