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Understanding the Low SES School Communities National Partnership A joint initiative of the Australian and NSW Governments. Education National Partnerships. Teacher Quality. Low SES School Communities. Literacy and Numeracy. www.nationalpartnerships.nsw.edu.au.
A joint initiative of the Australian and NSW Governments
Low SES School Communities
Literacy and Numeracy
Demands on learning and behaviour become more complex
The cultural resources of poorer families decline in relative value
Social area processes accumulate multiple disadvantages in poorer schools
Professor Richard Teese, The University of Melbourne, Address at the NSW DET Low SES Symposium May 2009
The aims of the Low SES School Communities National Partnership are to:
transform the way that schooling takes place in participating schools and to address the complex and interconnected challenges facing students in disadvantaged communities
improve the educational outcomes of students, including literacy and numeracy outcomes, in targeted schools as well as to improve students’ transition rates to further education and employment.
Teacher Quality National Partnership
There is compelling evidence that high quality teaching is the most effective method of improving results for students in low SES school communities. This is why the Low SES School Communities National Partnership mandates reforms drawn from the Teacher Quality National Partnership.
Specific related initiatives include:
Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership
In recognition of the aim to improve literacy and numeracy results, schools will be able to implement evidence-based reforms, such as specific literacy and numeracy interventions, from the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership.
The Information Package for the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership along with associated resources can be found at http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/national/index.htm
All of the partnerships and in particular the Low SES School Communities National Partnership include specific reforms and strategies to accelerate progress in:
510 schools in NSW originally identified by the Commonwealth Government– 447 government and 63 non government schools
Additional government schools added in October 2009, bringing the total to more than 550
Four rounds of schools with implementation staggeredbetween 2009 and 2012. 7 years in total implementation
Identified schools will be funded for a period of 4 years.
A list created by the Australian Government to a national methodology. The methodology was based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD), constructed from the 2006 Census.
Additional Government schools using State based criteria
18,300 Aboriginal students, representing 46.6% per cent of the total Aboriginal students in government schools in New South Wales
69% primary schools, 18 % secondary, 8% central schools, 5% Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs)
Enrolments in these schools are divided into 55% primary, 39% secondary schools, 5% central schools and 1% in SSPs
21% of the schools are ‘small’ schools with an enrolment of less than 52
6% of schools are considered remote or very remote
68% of all government schools participating in this National Partnership also receive Priority Schools Programs resources.
Innovation not compensation – transform schooling
High expectations of significant and sustainable improvements in student learning outcomes – lasting value
Change outcomes not experiences
Maximise the use of the school’s total resource and where appropriate the total resource available across a community of schools.
Summarised from Professor Richard Teese, The University of Melbourne, Address at the NSW DET Low SES Symposium May 2009
To improve outcomes for students, the absolute priority in this National Partnership will be on steps that directly lift the availability of high quality teaching. While schools have the flexibility to try new and innovative approaches, and to engage closely with their community, this should be done within a framework where teacher quality interventions are the building-blocks for reform in each school.
To ensure that resources are directed to the highest priority teacher quality reforms, schools are required to, as a first priority, undertake the following two mandatory elements within the school plan:
Actions to improve the availability of high quality teaching. These actions connect to Low SES Reform 1
Professional development for school executives and teachers to help them use and analyse data to cater to student needs. These actions connect to Low SES Reform 4
Aspects of these elements are also reflected in Reforms 2 and 5.
Schools should ensure that the mandatory elements are evident in the school plan along with strategies to address each of the following six Low SES School Communities Reforms
Incentives to attract high-performing teachers and principals
Options are aimed at both attracting and retaining high quality staff and improving the capacity of existing staff.
Highly Accomplished Teachers (HATs), mentoring programs for Principals, cross sectoral professional networks, site-based professional learning, working with academic partners
Adoption of best-practice performance measurement and staffing arrangements that articulate a clear role for principals
These reforms acknowledge the role of school leadership from school executives to teachers.
experienced teachers and mentors supporting early career teachers, shared executive across sites eg. middle years.
3. School operational arrangements that encourage innovation and flexibility
The success of the Partnership will rely on the ability of schools to put in place clear strategies that will have a direct impact on student outcomes. These reforms promote innovation in school organisation.
employ paraprofessional staff, flexible organisation practices including timetabling and extended school hours, working in local communities of schools, expanding curriculum using technology, teaching teams working across schools with Aboriginal, ESL and refugee students, shared timetables
Provision of innovative and tailored learning opportunities
Identifying and targeting specific student needs will be essential if schools are to make measurable improvements. The ability to use student assessment and other data to identify individual, class and school needs will be critical to the success of the reforms.
implement evidence-based and focused interventions, transition plans for students, individualised learning plans for particular students, Personalised Learning Plans for Aboriginal students, professional development for school executives and teachers on data analysis
5.Strengthen school accountability
Transparent planning and reporting mechanisms that clearly outline the goals to be achieved, the strategies to be implemented and the methods to be used for assessing outcomes against the plan.
interviews with the whole school community, strengthened assessment of teachers and school leaders, develop teams across sites to evaluate outcomes of school plans, external evaluation, case studies of students and cohorts, publicly available annual reports
6. External partnerships with parents, other schools, businesses and communities and the provision of access to extended services (including through brokering arrangements)
This reform direction will strengthen schools’ ability to address identified needs through ongoing engagement with the broader community.
extension of schools as community centres, parents participate in school planning, workshops with parents to help children with learning, transition programs, partnerships with key community organisations eg. AECG, transition to school programs, allied health services, employment of partnership officers to build parent and community partnerships
Advice for schools is located at
Conduct a situational analysis
Participate in joint planning
Revise School Plan
School Education Director approves revised School Plan
The situational analysis involves an assessment of the school’s quantitative and qualitative data. The assessment of data and information collected through the analysis will inform the school situational analysis report.
This will be a brief report that will enable the aggregation and synthesis of information to support a school to determine the most appropriate strategies to significantly improve learning outcomes, teaching and leadership practices and community partnerships.
The Principal will lead the situational analysis in consultation with the whole school community including representatives from the staff, students and key stakeholder groups within the school community.
Parents & Citizens’ Association
local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG)
key community groups involved in the school (as appropriate)
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The strategies in the School Plan should explicitly reflect the six Low SES Reforms and identify funding from the Low SES School Communities National Partnership and other funding sources.
Strategies must be:
School Plans demonstrating strategies linked to reforms and NP funding, will be approved by School Education Directors
attesting that the school is implementing the most effective options from the reform menu for the school context
and submitted to the Regional Director for endorsement.
Participating schools will receive Low SES School Communities National Partnership funding for four years.
These funds should be used in conjunction with other resources available in the school to support school improvement.
In Term 4 each year, schools will be advised of their notional allocation from the Low SES School Communities National Partnership for the following year.
Allocations will be distributed to schools each calendar year as two semester payments.
The School Plan and the Annual School Report remain the key documentation for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the reforms implemented as part of the Low SES School Communities National Partnership.
Schools will be required to report publicly on the outcomes of their School Plans through Annual School Reports.
Performance measures will include: