Mr Speaker, the tone and content of this annual contribution on education has to be special. The subject is far too important for partisan bickering or point-scoring across the aisle or between special interests within the sector. Our heads and our hearts have to be in different and higher places when we are discussing student achievement. So I open by expressing sincere thanks to all my colleagues for their critical support, especially members of the Opposition; to the teachers and their associations for a year spent building bridges, recognizing strengths and weaknesses and reaching accommodations; appreciation to the Churches and the public commentators who have played such a vital role in guiding policy