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CEFPI CONFERENCE 2008 Education Access & Provision Challenges and Opportunities for Education in Rural Schools. Workshop Agenda. Overview of challenges and issues related to education provision in rural schools.

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CEFPI CONFERENCE 2008Education Access & ProvisionChallenges and Opportunities for Education in Rural Schools

Workshop agenda
Workshop Agenda

  • Overview of challenges and issues related to education provision in rural schools.

  • Opportunities and innovative responses that are available to enhance education provision and outcomes for schools in rural areas, including community partnerships.

  • Format of Presentation

    • Introduction/Context

    • Grampians Region Snapshot

    • Canadian Study Tour Learnings

    • National Agenda for Rural Provision – Key Recommendations

    • Imagining the Future

School transformation school improvement
School Transformation & School Improvement

  • The essence of our work. Driven by a fundamental moral purpose (Blueprint). The right of every child to ……………..

  • Blueprint – Department focus on a range of reform initiatives as well as tools and processes to support School Improvement.

  • Post Blueprint: Inclusion of Early Childhood into Department of Education (DEECD).

  • Blueprint 2008?

  • Issue – Alignment of Education Needs with Programs, Innovative approaches to facilities & Infrastructure Resourcing

The Emerging & Future Context

  • The concept of schooling, as we traditionally understand, is undergoing change.

  • Our system is moving towards a new order of schooling. An order which foresees schools which are networked and collaborative and with leadership distributed within and between schools and other agencies.

  • Future leadership will need to focus on building community within DEECD, between DEECD providers and local communities and building community in a multiagency context.

Context of rural and remote education national framework for rural education mceetya
Context of Rural and Remote Education National Framework for Rural Education - MCEETYA

Characteristics of places variously termed rural, regional,

country, remote and isolated include:

  • population size, movement and density relative to metropolitan centres, including the requirement for young people often to have to move to larger centres to access further education and training.

  • Distance from large population centres and service centres, resulting in high travel and accommodation costs to users and providers of services.

  • High migration of families and youth to larger population centres.

  • Existence of social infrastructure, including information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure.

Context of rural and remote education
Context of Rural and Remote Education

  • Levels and breadth of employment, and existence of key industry/activity.

  • Diversity and levels of access to a range of youth services, including the full range of education services.

    Generally, when there is a deficit experienced in any or all of these

    characteristics, rural, remote and isolated communities record higher

    than the national average for students 15 years and younger leaving

    school (particularly for indigenous students) and lower participation

    rates in higher education. However, the participation rate in VET in

    rural and remote areas is higher than in urban centres. This may be

    due to the early school leavers seeking post-school options to support

    entry to the work force. Vocational education programs are also seen

    as a pathway into local or regional employment or in support of an

    existing family business.

Grampians region deecd profile of a rural region
Grampians Region DEECD Profile Of A Rural Region

Grampians region deecd profile of a rural region1
Grampians Region DEECD Profile Of A Rural Region

Grampians Region

Regional profile grampians region deecd
Regional Profile – Grampians Region DEECD

There are 132 schools (141 sites) in the Region

  • Consisting of 104 primary schools (including three multi-campus primary schools)

  • 16 secondary colleges (including three multi-campus secondary colleges)

  • 7 P-12 schools,

  • 4 specialschools and

  • Sovereign Hill School which caters for groups of students visiting the Sovereign Hill Historical Park.

    In 2008 there were 25,623 students enrolled in government schools in this


    There are 2230 (2040 EFT) teachers in the Region.

Enrolment trends grampians region
Enrolment Trends – Grampians Region

  • Secondary enrolments in four schools are below 300, in seven schools below 200 and three schools are below 100. Eleven of the schools are in the Wimmera Network which has a steadily declining rural population and the other three are in the Central Network.

  • The remaining secondary settings are mainly located in larger rural and provincial centres with enrolments between 500 – 1500

  • Thirty seven primary schools are below 40 including twelve below 20 pupils. Mostly these are also located in the Wimmera and Central Networks. Population decline in the dryland farming zones of the State since 1991 have resulted in significant declines in government school numbers for most locations beyond the larger regional centres.

Socio economic influences
Socio-Economic Influences

The population and family occupation changes for most rural localities has steadily impacted on our schools. The current drought will further reduce rural population levels and result in future declines in school numbers for the isolated localities. School bus loadings are declining in several parts of the Wimmera & Central Networks which may cause future rationalisation of some routes, and create longer travel times for some students.

The situation within the provincial centres of Horsham, Ararat, Stawell, Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh is that of steady to medium/high growth projections. The outlook for the community of Bannockburn is also very positive with an expected increase of 5000 – 8000 people over five - eight years due to its proximity to Melbourne and Geelong.

Country Regions -

NB: Grampians Region 2007

- Highest number of student deferments for tertiary study due to

family income factors.

- Lowest number of tertiary qualifications in parent population

West Wimmera: 65% kindergarten participation, compared to statewide average 95%

Aggregate performance data indicators region
Aggregate Performance Data Indicators – Region

Student retention (2006)

  • 7-12 retention is approximately 68%, slightly below Non- metropolitan region mean of 68.5%

  • 10-12 retention rate was 73.7%, slightly above the Non-metropolitan region mean of 73.1%

    NB: Ballarat area has well established independent

    school sector

    Student absence (2005 data)

  • Absence rate in years P-6 and years 7-10 similar to the state but higher in years 9, 11 and 12.

  • Significant improvement in some individual schools 2006/7. Still awaiting aggregate data trends

Aggregate Performance Data Indicators – Region cont…

VCE All Study mean (2006 data)

  • 28.22 ( 2006 state average was 28.79)

    VET Participation.(2006 data)

  • Has remained fairly stable over the period 2002-6. The 2006 participation rate was 29.63% ( 2006 state rate was 23%)

    VCAL participation (2006 data)

  • VCAL participation has steadily increased over the period 2002-6 from 0.21% to 16.20% (2006 state rate was 11.53%)

Network issues analysis
Network Issues Analysis

Highlands Network

(split into 2 SEO areas) ISSUES: Youth Pathways

Total Schools 69 52.7% Youth Unemployment

Total Sites 78 55% Retention/Engagement

Total students 16,829.7 63.4% Market Share

Central Network

  • Total Schools 30 22.9% ISSUES: Demographics – declining population

  • Total sites 30 21.1% Education Access – Breadth & Depth

  • Total students 3940.5 14.9% Retention


    Small Primary School

  • Wimmera Network

  • Total Schools 31 24.4% ISSUES: Demographics – falling population

  • Total sites 33 23.9% Education Access – Breadth & Depth

  • Total students 5760.7 21.7% Retention

  • Social

  • Small Secondary College Provision

Regional responses education provision
Regional Responses Education Provision

With the appointment of Leading Schools Fund facilitators in 2005 the region engaged with all schools to consider future provision and access concerns from primary to post compulsory levels. This has included extensive mapping of trends, pathway provisions and inclusion of ‘access’ as a priority in the regional business and strategic plans. Also a demographic study has been conducted for the Ballarat area and 12 Local Area Planning Committees (37 schools) implemented across the region.

A joint study with the Country Education Project has been initiated for the North Central Wimmera area to consider locally acceptable alternatives to the traditional provision models for the future needs of all students in the areas. Several other initiatives are planned or have commenced throughout the region including programs for disengaged students such as Link Up and the Youth Options Guarantee. Canadian Study Tour 2007, in order to explore virtual schooling options.

Trade training centre proposal wimmera network an iconic provision initiative
Trade Training Centre Proposal Wimmera Network: An Iconic Provision Initiative

Project Description

Establish a Network Skills Hub to enhance trade training options and future

pathways for students across the Wimmera Network of schools.


  • Construction of a new Trade Training Centre on the Horsham College site adjacent to/opposite the University of Ballarat TAFE – Horsham Campus

  • Upgrade equipment at the University of Ballarat TAFE – Horsham Campus required for targeted Certificate III / IV trade training identified through the Wimmera skills needs list and the National Skills Needs List Occupations.

  • Provide and equip a mobile training facility which can service practical training needs to cluster school students in targeted training needs.

  • Support for individual schools to implement videoconferencing as a means of students accessing appropriate learning modules.

Trade training centre proposal wimmera network an iconic provision initiative cont
Trade Training Centre Proposal Wimmera Network: An Iconic Provision Initiative cont…

Education Context

An Iconic Project supporting Wimmera colleges spread over a very large geographic area of 23,500 sq kms, includes Catholic Education/TAFE.

The proposal aims to increase apparent retention rates of young people in training and employment across the Wimmera Network especially in skill shortage areas.

This further aims to enhance the seamless service model by catering for a larger breadth of needs and students interests. The significant demographic and geographic issues present in the large rural area of the Wimmera relating to education provision and access could be further addressed through this


Once implemented this could also serve as a model for other Regions and provide access to colleges across and beyond the Grampians Region as was observed in Canada during our recent study tour.

Grampians region provision priority focus initiatives challenges for development
Grampians Region Provision: Priority Focus Initiatives/Challenges For Development

  • Virtual Schooling - Wimmera

    • Canadian Study Tour Summary – see slides to follow.

  • Small Schools Provision

    • Pyrenees, Woady Yaloak type model

  • Horsham Education Provision Model

    • Community College HUB

    • University Partnership

    • Small Secondary Colleges

  • Warracknabeal Community School

  • Bacchus Marsh Community/Local Government Partnership

  • Ballarat Collective Schools Model

    • videoconferencing linkages

    • TEC / Maths & Science Centre

  • Innovative Technical Education Provision – Mobile Unit (Semi Trailer) – Possible pilot model.

  • “Bed Down” Youth Options Guarantee & related programs eg: Link Up.

  • Yuille Park Community College

  • BLX (Ballarat Learning Exchange)

  • Trade Centre Initiatives

Context network development improvement plan
Context Network Development (Improvement) Plan Initiatives/Challenges For Development

By definition, the concept of the Network Development Plan needs to focus on the range of initiatives, programs (either system and/or “local”) that the Network will undertake to improve the outcomes of the young people for whom it is collectively responsible.

What would a Network need to know and to do in order to ensure that every single child can be the most powerful leader that he or she can be?

Regional education access provision plan draft
Regional Education Access & Provision Plan Draft Initiatives/Challenges For Development

Network Development Plan




  • Integrated approach to service provision

  • Sharing the agenda

  • Capacity Building

  • Strategic approach to Support Improvement in selected schools or groups of schools

  • Education Access & Provision/Special Initiatives & Projects (* see next slide)



Regional education access provision plan draft cont
Regional Education Access & Provision Plan Draft Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…

Definition of Education Access/Provision Plan

The aim of the plan is to prioritise the way(s) in which the educational

outcomes of young people can be enhanced through collective action of the

school, the Region and Central Office, and other partners as appropriate.

This can include:

  • Educational programs / initiatives, within and/or across schools.

  • Eg: Co-operative initiatives (of an infrastructure nature) which enhance student outcomes. Eg: videoconferencing.

  • School Organisational / Structural change on a single school or across school basis. Eg: closures, mergers, amalgamations, regeneration.

  • Targeted special provision initiatives eg: Maths/Science, select entry, BLX.

  • Other eg: Trade Centre Initiatives

Grampians Region Education Access Initiatives 2007/2008 Initiatives/Challenges For Development

Proposed Virtual Classroom Projects

Virtual Classroom





Virtual Classroom






Warracknabeal Community School

  • Participation Initiatives

  • Link Up – 200+ in 2007

  • FLIP – in 2007

  • Youth Options Guarantee

  • VET Buses


Small Schools

Provision Model

Horsham Education Provision Model

Ballarat Collective Schools Model, including virtual schooling, TEC, Maths/Science Centre, Wendouree West Community School

Pilot Virtual Classroom


Lake Bolac


Bacchus Marsh Community / Local Government Partnership

Canadian tour 2007 findings grampians lcm region deecd
Canadian Tour 2007 Findings Initiatives/Challenges For Development(Grampians & LCM Region DEECD)

The important conclusion is that we can enhance student access to breadth and depth in curriculum through blended approaches to virtual learning experiences. In addition we also need to redefine teaching and learning pedagogy in the twenty-first century including alignment with “how students learn” and more effective utilisation of the “hidden capital” in the teaching learning process, the students themselves. There is a need to redefine the role of the teacher and the learner with the development of learning partnerships. As stated by Ignacio Estrade – “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn”.

In this context, there is an obvious linkage between virtual learning and self-directed learning, with the need to develop new approaches to schooling, networking and partnerships.

Canadian tour 2007
Canadian Tour 2007 Initiatives/Challenges For Development

Video Conferencing (Research): Alberta

Key Learnings in terms of effective schools/program model

  • The use of the supernet provides a fundamental basis to the quality of delivery for interaction with live teacher delivery to classes – the band width is a minimum of 2MG – can be increased to 10 MG. this compares with the Victorian system favourably – use of Cisco software can enhance the delivery

  • Importance of professional development support for teaching staff and preparation with delivery materials – teacher networks strongly supported

  • VC used to deliver to remote, small class size and to enhance program delivery

  • Strongly recommended where closed interaction and individual student engagement limit program delivery to no more than 4 sites at a time.

  • VC extremely useful in linking to other resources – such as museums, exhibition and specialised services, locations

  • Teaching style is very important along with materials to ensure student engagement.

Canadian tour cont
Canadian Tour Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…

University of Alberta – NAIT

Training Anywhere, Anytime:

Two (2) ‘NAIT in MOTION’ mobile education units are equipped as trade shops to bring the technology to the learner in remote communities rather than bringing the learner to the technology. The NAIT in MOTION tractor-trailer units are outfitted to deliver trades-related training in millwright, pipefitting, steam fitting, gas fitting, welding, machining, electrical and plumbing. The trailers were funded by business/industry – joint partnership.

Canadian tour cont1
Canadian Tour Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…

Question: Implications for facilities/infrastructure?

Canadian tour cont2
Canadian Tour Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…


SCHOOL: Bishop Carroll High School

PROVINCE: Calgary, Alberta


Bishop Carroll High School is a model for self-directed learning. Bishop Carroll is a unique school that places the student, at the centre of learning. Along with the Teacher Advisor and parent, the student chooses the program and courses that best suit their interest, abilities and future plans. Students proceed through courses at their own rate. This allows more flexibility and freedom, but it also demands greater responsibility on the part of the learner. The Bishop Carroll learning model is based on the following principles.

Individualised Schedule:

No master time table exists. There are no bells and no regular classes.

Teacher Advisor:

The Teacher Advisor (TA) is the coach, motivator, mentor, and main supporter at Bishop Carroll.

Canadian tour cont3
Canadian Tour Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…

Resource Centre and study area at Bishop Carroll High School

Issue: What are the implications for facilities requirements with student centred curriculum rich in ICT.

Canadian tour cont4
Canadian Tour Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…

Recently built Notre Dame High School featuring a Learning Common

Blended Learning Environment

Key opportunities canadian experience
Key Opportunities – Canadian Experience Initiatives/Challenges For Development


Virtual Learning

  • Personalized Learning: ‘Peronalizing’ courses to meet the needs of students as well as ‘Personalizing’ delivery models for those students choosing to learn in a virtual classroom environment

  • Blended Delivery

    • Traditional

    • Cyber - Online

    • Interactive TV – satellite

    • Video Conference

  • Networking

    • Cluster, Network, System, International

  • Professional Development

    • Multi Skilling

    • Mobile Technical Facilities

Key opportunities canadian experience cont
Key Opportunities – Canadian Experience Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…


  • “I find I will learn the information a lot easier by going at my own pace.” (student)

  • “I just feel like I have more time to take other classes if I take this one online.” (student)

Now what where to from here canadian study tour 2007
Now What! Where To From Here? Canadian Study Tour 2007 Initiatives/Challenges For Development

  • Summary of Key Learnings to be further developed in full report

  • Student participation and engagement in education can and should be enhanced via virtual schooling models

  • 21st. Century teaching and learning pedagogy requires a redefinition of the role of the teacher and learner

  • The need to enhance the role of partnerships and networks within and across schools and agencies.

  • The role of the family and parents in the learning process needs to be enhanced, including early childhood

  • The significant role of leadership and the multi-skilling of teachers needs to be recognized (capacity building)

  • Seminar focussing on 21st century learning environment propose for 2008 –linking Canadian contacts

  • Recommend W.P. to be established to develop statewide rural education access provision policy/strategy.

Remote and Isolated Schools

“Virtual schooling…the great equaliser for rural students.”

“Virtual schooling – many students choose to learn this way”

School provision education access and provision
School Provision Education Access and Provision Initiatives/Challenges For Development

Rural and remote areas need differential models

Models which recognise;

  • Cohort size, often < 10 pupils

  • Location constraints/distance

  • Qualified available staff

  • Isolation - social separation

  • Economic constraints

  • Limited subject breadth

  • Specialisms especially LOTE, VET.

School provision education access and provision cont
School Provision Education Access and Provision Initiatives/Challenges For Developmentcont…

Models/designs with flexibilities for:

  • Co-location of provision 0 – adult

    (ie primary, secondary, special, tertiary, ACE).

  • Digital and videoconferencing as capital equipment

  • Teaching and learning suites for small numbers.

  • Strategically located specialist units and mobile units.

  • Restructuring school bussing to improve access in identified areas.

  • Staffing incentives in targeted locations/subjects

  • Accommodation arrangements – bloc release

  • Co-location of community facilities, sharing with other agencies.

Education In The Twenty First Century Initiatives/Challenges For Development

Virtual Schooling

Blended approaches to Education Delivery within and across schools, including diverse range of virtual schooling options.



Blended approaches to Teaching & Learning with enhanced emphasis on the role of the student in the teaching-learning process

Moral Purpose

Importance of

Individual student – right of access to excellence in education, no matter what……


School Organisation & Partnerships

Innovative approaches to schools working together in clusters, networks, partnerships, other agencies

Student Wellbeing

Student wellbeing, including social needs and need for early childhood programs. (Link of wellbeing to curriculum, teaching-learning processes)

People Capacity

Leadership / Capacity Building Programs, including enhanced skills in 21st century pedagogy and education delivery models.

Family / Community

Early Childhood

Role of parents, family, community in education process. (importance of early childhood programs.

Key opportunities canadian experience1
Key Opportunities – Canadian Experience Initiatives/Challenges For Development


  • “We need to build for success, not failure, so self-directed learning is incremental in its implementation” (Bishop Carroll)

  • Virtual Schooling – many students want to/choose to learn this way

  • “The school bell does not dictate your learning – as the student, you take responsibility for your own learning”

  • Virtual Schooling – the great equaliser for rural students. (Students as winners)

  • Ex Principal “If I had my time again in a traditional setting, I would work with teachers to change the mode of delivery completely!”

  • We need to free students (and staff) from the bondage of time and space.

  • Blended delivery caters for a variety of learning styles

National framework for rural remote education opportunity ict in the 21 st century
National Framework for Rural & Remote Education Opportunity: ICT in the 21st Century

The rapidly expanding ICT infrastructure available to

rural, regional and remote locations is providing a

powerful means of multiplying the impact of distance

education techniques, and is transforming ways and

means of providing access for all students and families

to high quality education. Continuing action on

improving access and cost issues is essential. “Virtual

schooling – the great equaliser for rural students!”



By age 18, each young person residing in rural or remote Australia will receive the education required

to develop their full potential in the social, economic, political and cultural life of the nation


  • Students and families living in rural

  • and remote Australia have specific

  • needs which are the direct result of

  • living in particular geographic locations

  • The needs of rural and remote students

  • should be met through local commitment

  • and ownership as well as through predictable

  • and sustained government funded initiatives

  • There is a high degree of variability in the

  • characteristics of rural and remote communities,

  • both within and between the States and the

  • Northern Territory.

  • The provision of quality education in rural and remote

  • Australia requires creative and flexible approaches

  • that utilise leadership capacity at all levels, innovative

  • technology and methodology, and whole of

  • government approaches.






Information &







Training & Development

Leadership /Succession






















Diverse and reliable supply

Succession plans


Family assistance

Programs and

services consistent

with national goals

Articulated planning

for lifelong learning

Access to VET





for rural/remote


Affordability and




Support for current


ICT training and

development for


Broadening of best

practice networks in


locations and

across systems

Support of industry,

civic education,

government and



Identification and use

of local expertise and


Support for local

social capital


Funding for

Equitable access

Dissemination of

Best practice

Whole of




Population Size, Diversity and Density Community Opportunities Social Capital Building

Distance Flexibility Leadership Cooperative Action: - Local – Regional – Whole of Government Sustainability

National framework for rural and remote education ict
National Framework For Rural And Remote Education: ICT ICT in the 21

Efforts should be directed towards:

  • Expanding the upgrading of infrastructure and ongoing training and development of professional expertise.

  • Reducing the user costs of infrastructure to rural and remote locations and customers.

  • Working to ensure that students and families in rural and remote locations have ready access to high quality online curriculum that is culturally affirming.

Multiple modes of delivery
Multiple Modes of Delivery ICT in the 21

The diversity of rural and remote locations needing quality education services requires a multimodal approach to delivery. Distance and population size and range of choice mean that not all curriculum will be available through face to face methods.

Multiple modes of delivery cont
Multiple Modes of Delivery ICT in the 21cont…

A strategy that focuses on flexible curriculum delivery using a variety of vehicles and structures is required. Examples include:

  • the clustering of sites and pooling of resources to deliver a wide

    range or curriculum than would otherwise be available on one site.

  • Short-term and long-term programs which support access to centres

    of excellence and specialisation.

  • Hubs and service providers which prepare a range of curriculum

    content and make it available online, with appropriate marking and

    reporting services

  • Online provision; distance delivery education; mobile classrooms;

    face to face teaching; flexibility of/across year levels, flexible

    allocation of time; and home tutoring.

Multiple modes of delivery cont1
Multiple Modes of Delivery ICT in the 21cont…

Efforts should be directed towards:

  • Publicising successful initiatives

  • Expanding the number of programs which enable and encourage flexible innovative delivery.

  • Continuing the development of online curriculum materials that are inclusive of rural and remote contexts and circumstances, and identifying and then using best practice examples of online curriculum materials and pedagogies

  • Drawing on existing good practice which uses innovative delivery to address geographical disadvantage.

Environments formed through effective community relationships and partnerships
Environments Formed Through Effective Community Relationships and Partnerships

Critical factors for many successful educational initiatives include close consultation with communities and the development of partnerships with them. By building effective community relationships and partnerships, projects can be tailored to meet local needs and conditions, as well as meeting wider requirements. A focus on building partnerships at both local and agency levels can result in heightened community involvement and facilitate sustainability. Partnerships are particularly important when planning for and delivering vocational education and training for indigenous communities.

Environments formed through effective community relationships and partnerships cont
Environments Formed Through Effective Community Relationships and Partnerships cont…

Efforts should be directed towards:

  • Implementing the Commonwealth Government initiative on community-based participation agreements.

  • Creating capacity for communities to develop local responses to local problems, and showcase exemplars of best practice.

  • Developing and encouraging partnerships between stakeholders from both within and among neighbouring communities so that effects caused through small populations are minimised.

  • Identifying and disseminating examples of best practice strategies such as outreach programs, that enhance partnerships and community involvement.

Rural education a framework for action
Rural Education: Relationships and Partnerships A Framework For Action

Where to from here for rural education?

The review of the literature identified some of the endemic problems facing rural and regional education. These reports have presented a fairly consistent picture of rural education: lower schooling outcomes, problematic teacher retention and a lack of access to professional development and resources.

Inequities in provision rural education
Inequities In Provision – Rural Education Relationships and Partnerships

  • Disparities in achievement between rural and metropolitan students in science, ICT and mathematics.

  • Rural schools face barriers to providing quality education, such as distances to major centres, problematic staffing and difficulties establishing and maintaining infrastructure.

  • Rural education is interlinked with other aspects of rural communities, such as fluctuating populations, economic influences, seasonal conditions and climate.

Inequities in provision rural education cont
Inequities In Provision – Rural Education Relationships and Partnerships cont…

  • The need for students in rural and remote areas to have access to quality education services within a reasonable distance from the family home.

  • Potential solutions which considered these concerns in isolation from one another would not be successful. It is also recognised that attempts to address inequities in the provision of quality education would not be effective unless broader economic and social issues are also considered. Broader issues of rural and regional development, infrastructure, health and social services are all related to, and affect, rural education. A coherent and coordinated approach across all of these areas is needed.

Possible initiatives for rural school education strategy
Possible Initiatives For Rural School Education Strategy Relationships and Partnerships

Actions for consideration might include the

development of programs that:

  • Seek ways to integrate current initiatives

  • Help revitalise rural and regional schools. For example, schools may be given the option of restructuring their facilities to make them more viable and relevant to community needs, such as becoming multi-purpose centres

  • Encourage flexibility so that a wide range of services can be subsumed and supported under the Strategy

  • Allow or encourage flexibility of rules and regulation at a local level to enable local responses to emerge

    NB: Implications for facilities provision more than just innovative approaches to

    school facilities

Possible initiatives for rural school education strategy cont
Possible Initiatives For Rural School Education Strategy Relationships and Partnerships cont…

  • Review regional access and undertake an audit to determine broad areas of need for different education facilities/community facilities.

  • Support the recruitment of more teachers to rural and regional centres

  • Develop positive long-term incentives to increase and strengthen the rural education workforce and especially to encourage teachers to remain in rural areas. At the same time, programs are needed to enhance the skills of rural teaching professionals, reduce professional isolation and encourage teachers into small communities

  • Create a senior teacher outreach program to enhance education and training for rural education professionals and to provide for rural leadership support and development

  • Address rural and regional issues concerning preschool and tertiary education

Possible initiatives for rural school education strategy cont1
Possible Initiatives For Rural School Education Strategy Relationships and Partnerships Cont…


Importantly, the ideas are not about working from a deficit model of teaching and learning in rural and regional Australia. Rather, the ideas and illustrative actions are offered as positive steps towards harnessing the strengths of rural and regional communities in meeting the challenges facing their schools, and ensuring equity of access for their students.

Re imagining schools by david loader
Re-imagining Schools Relationships and Partnerships by David Loader

  • “Closed system” thinking is still being applied to schooling.

  • Today we have a new Millennium generation of self-driven, socially oriented digital learners with mobile and personal technology. Their learning styles are experiential, immediate, visual and social. They have experienced what it is like to be in a community of learners, and this was not in a classroom!

An imaginative response
An Imaginative Response Relationships and Partnerships

We need to provide many different types of


David Hargreaves (2003) argues for creating a climate that will encourage radical structural reform, to reshape the school system around diversity and choice. My view of the future, says in 10 years, is that schools, as we know them, will be broken into parts and dispersed throughout the community. These may or may not be called schools, but they will be places of learning. Unlike now, they will not be embedded in one place, fenced off from the community, with expensive, outdated infrastructure that may hold back the learning of the young.

It is possible that we might not even need schools?

How might we begin the process of providing infrastructure in different ways?

An imaginative response cont
An Imaginative Response Relationships and Partnerships cont…

How do we go about changing schools?

Unfortunately today the word ‘school’

conjures up very specific images, including

  • Buildings with classrooms;

  • Teachers directing activity; and

  • An externally imposed curriculum.

An imaginative response cont1
An Imaginative Response Relationships and Partnerships cont…

There are other ways in which we might

think about schools – for example:

  • A school as a parking lot for students, while their parents work;

  • A school as a shopping centre, where students choose where and what they purchase, and where they stop to socialise;

  • A school as a studio, where uniqueness is cultivated and individual workers have their personal work spaces and specialist tutors;

  • A school as a network of different communities, virtual or real, that provides access to knowledge, teachers and support;

  • A school as a game community, in which we participate as real and virtual players;

  • A school as a house, where we live and learn.

An imaginative response cont2
An Imaginative Response Relationships and Partnerships cont…

The Network

The idea of a school as a network is attracting a lot of interest from different parts of our community.

The network school would provide access to knowledge, teachers and support. It would not need to be constrained to a school year of 42 weeks, nor to a school day of 8.30 am to 3.30 pm, nor to five days a week. It might be virtual, a development of the school of the air concept, now with easy video and electronic access, and could create an effective community of students and adults through this means.

Or the network might be a mixture of home tutors, dispersed ‘school’ rooms in the community and on-line activities.

A network might be supported by physical means of transportation or broad bandwidth wireless communication. It would be flexible and could be built to meet personal needs.

A feature of this style of education delivery, not unnoticed by government, is that it is less capital dependent, as it could use existing infrastructure.

Where to now
Where To Now Relationships and Partnerships

If we edge too warily into the new Millennium, clinging to the past, then we may fail to communicate effectively with our young people.

In ‘Schooling for the Knowledge Era” David Warner observed that;

the community needs to be convinced that the great majority of young people can be trusted and that schools do not have to be focused on control and management.

Teachers need to be learners too. In a study of school leaders, reported by Brent and Barbara Davies, the following statement was made.

“Staff are very good ‘knowers’ but not very good ‘learners.’ We have to change that over the longer term to build a learning community. (Davies & Davies 2005)

We need to incorporate the technology and the play environments of students into main stream pedagogy, curriculum and assessment.

School improvement and education provision
School Improvement and Education Provision Relationships and Partnerships


To paraphrase from John Schaar:

“The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present…it is not some place we are going…but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made.”

Finally…………………… Relationships and Partnerships

The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen.

It is to think what no one has yet thought of, about that which everyone has seen.


Just imagine rainbow learning and community services centre rainbow community development plan
Just Imagine………. Relationships and Partnerships Rainbow Learning and Community Services CentreRainbow Community Development Plan

Community Needs

Based On

Human Services

Local Government


Health Services,

Social Services

  • Multipurpose Learning Hub

  • Networked Learning Community Linked with

  • Other Schools Providers, agencies, TAFE.

  • Personalised learning, based on whole of

  • service, whole of person approach.

  • Provision model 0 – adult, 24/7, community

  • of learners

  • Blended Delivery model, multipurpose model(s)

  • of delivery

  • virtual learning, including VC, online delivery,

  • mobile units.

  • Flexible transport support to larger centre.

  • Possible block release for accommodation

  • Adult Education, Children’s Centre,

  • Kindergarten, Family Services, Child and

  • Maternal Health Services



Dept. Environmental

Education programs linked to

Environment & Sustainability

Themes & Issues.


Departments &




Community Based Partnerships & Participation Programs

Joined Up Services

Resource Pooling & Sharing

Flexible Facilties Design, Based on co-location of services, Blended Delivery

Community Development Plan

Community Needs

Yuille park p 8 community college wendouree victoria a glimpse into the future
Yuille Park P-8 Community College, Wendouree, Victoria – A Glimpse Into The Future

  • The new college provides:

  • Whole of person, seamless services approach (care & education)

  • age appropriate learning settings in three distinctive clusters.

  • space for community interaction and services

  • life long learning, providing opportunities for residents aged 0 – 100

  • Children Service’s Centre, a kindergarten, child-care, occasional child care and other services such as maternal and child health. The community house.

  • joint facilities, commercial kitchen, function rooms, technology rooms, a gym, a library, an art area, multifunction hall.

Schools are what society becomes
“Schools Are What Society Becomes… Glimpse Into The Future

…and this, of course is what it is all about, kids who enjoy and are challenged by their schools and are provided with the skills and knowledge will succeed in the 21st century environment”

“We are all responsible for all of the students in the school – failure is not an option (Crosby Heights, Ontario)