In the weeks leading up to the October 17 election, parents, providers and peak bodies are all jostling to exert influence over the overarching education strategy in the territory.
Here are the some of the key priorities parties are being asked to commit to.
The Labor-Greens government's recent early childhood strategy was met with praise from the sector. A key part of the strategy is introducing universal access to 15 hours of preschool per week for all three-year-olds, a policy currently being trialled for Canberra's most vulnerable families.
Independent schools, not-for-profit providers and commercial operators are looking for strong follow-through and to each get a slice of the delivery of this strategy.
The ACT Children First Alliance, a network of nine longstanding providers across the territory, is calling for flexible transport options to help disadvantaged families overcome practical barriers to getting to early learning centres so they can experience the benefits of early education.
The alliance has also called for an $800,000-a-year investment in a professional development fund and for early childhood teachers who are not working in a preschool attached to a school to be able to be registered with the Teacher Quality Institute so they can access professional pay and conditions.
The Catholic and independent schools already operating early learning centres are looking at how they can be better included in the early childhood strategy.
Ageing infrastructure in public schools has come into the spotlight now that three schools have discovered lead dust contamination since the July school holidays.
The ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations has called for a clear, long-term strategy to replace some of the oldest school buildings, particularly in the inner north and inner south of Canberra.
Liberal education spokeswoman Elizabeth Lee has announced her party would commit to an audit of all school infrastructure and an extra $15 million for maintenance. However, a much larger bucket of funding - possibly in the billions of dollars - over many years will be required to get every school up to the desired standard for modern learning spaces.
Labor's Yvette Berry has not made any election commitments in this space, other than to say it will be "much more than $15 million".
The Australian Education Union and the peak body for public school parents has welcomed the Liberals' promise to hire 50 qualified teacher librarians across the system. Last year there were just 34 librarians working in the ACT's 88 schools.
Libraries have also been sacrificed in the bid to squeeze more students into some schools. The AEU's ACT branch secretary, Glenn Fowler, says he is confident all parties will make a commitment to properly resource libraries in all schools.
Meanwhile, Association of Independent Schools in the ACT executive director Andrew Wrigley says non-government schools want to see greater recognition of their role as an integral part of the education system.
He says member schools find it difficult to access support for students in crisis.
"No independent school wants to be part of a system, but there are some times when being in a system provides those sorts of benefits," he says.
Canberra's independent and Catholic schools also want to get in on the conversation when it comes to new land releases and funding for capital works to meet growing demand for places, a process which is currently "opaque" according to Mr Wrigley.
The Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn's director of Catholic schools, Ross Fox, has welcomed a commitment from the Liberal Party to inject $16 million over four years into the Catholic system, and has called on Labor to "reverse planned cuts".
"Our approach has been simple, to advocate for fair funding for students in Catholic schools. Twenty five per cent of ACT government school costs is a fair level, and will put downward pressure on fees," he says.
University of Canberra vice-chancellor Paddy Nixon wants the institution to play a key role in the new government's education strategy, as one of the two higher education institutions legislated in the ACT - the other being the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT).
"[What] I'm looking for over the next period of time is for us to be able to look at the education ecosystem as a whole from early childhood, through school, VET, universities and in the workplace," he says.
Professor Nixon would like to see health innovation industries be given priority in the territory alongside the burgeoning defence and cyber security industries.
He says while making the ACT a destination for students has been a wise strategy, he would not like to see any more universities entering the territory and competing for a relatively small catchment of students.
Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt says his institution remains committed to working with the ACT government to rebuild after COVID-19.
"We are committed to helping government meet the policy challenges of the 21st century and providing the solutions that improve the lives of all citizens - like renewable energy and battery storage innovation, and wildlife conservation at Mulligans Flat," he says. "We are committed to working with government to help power our local economy and the prosperity of our territory, especially through the creation of new businesses and companies like Liquid Instruments and Instaclustr."
The AEU is pushing for the CIT to be brought under the education portfolio and wants a seat on the CIT board.