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Australia faces three overarching challenges in school education: to improve learning outcomes in core academic areas; to better prepare young people for adult life; and to do so in a way that is fair for all. Meeting these challenges is further complicated by the five- to eight-year learning gap in a typical classroom, the diversity of our 10,000 schools, and a model of devolved governance. In this ‘Grand Rounds’ presentation at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Grattan Institute’s School Education Program Director Peter Goss explores what it might take to improve teaching practice so that all students learn more in school, including those who are currently left behind.