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Module 1 Understanding equity. Priority Schools Programs induction toolkit NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way. Purpose. This module is designed to deepen understandings on equity and outcomes in low socio-economic status communities. Module outcomes.

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Module 1 understanding equity

Module 1Understanding equity

Priority Schools Programs induction toolkit

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way


This module is designed to deepen understandings on equity and outcomes in low socio-economic status communities.

Module outcomes
Module outcomes

The module will enable participants to:

  • reflect on their understandings, knowledge and experiences about equity and low SES in a school community context

  • deepen their dialogue about equity in outcomes

  • recognise the importance of addressing the issues of equity and outcomes in education.

What do we mean by equity
What do we mean by equity?

The idea of equality draws on notions of all people in our society being of equal value. This democratic principle underpins the provisions of public schooling.

Equality is the provisions we make for dealing with all equally. Equity is based on a belief in equality and quality. It is the notion of fairness, the moral principles that determine what we agree to be just.

What do we mean by equity1
What do we mean by equity?

All students are entitled to fair, equitable, and significant opportunities to obtain a high quality education and achieve the achievement standards for their stage of schooling to enrich their life choices.

What do we mean by equity2
What do we mean by equity?

Equity refers to the arrangements made for dealing with differences among students, while recognising that they are all to be equally valued.

Socio-economic differences are strongly associated with patterns in the outcomes of schooling.

What we know
What we know

Currently there is a significant and unacceptable gap between the average achievement of low SES students as a group and all students.

Socio-economic status (SES) can intersect with other factors including gender, geographic location, cultural background and literacy and numeracy levels to prevent students from gaining the full benefits of schooling.

What we know1
What we know

Factors over which students have no control should not predetermine the outcomes of schooling for individual students or groups of students.

Students from low SES backgroundsare a diverse group encompassing the full range of learning abilities.

Students from low SES backgroundscan and do achieve high standards with appropriate opportunities and active support.

Equity principles for learning
Equity principles for learning

The equity principles for learning are underpinned by the belief that the outcomes of schooling for individual or groups of students should not be dependent on their gender, cultural, social, economic, geographical and linguistic backgrounds.

Equity principles for learning1
Equity principles for learning

In particular:

  • Each student is entitled to high quality education and training programs that ensure equity of outcomes.

  • Students from disadvantaged backgrounds encompass the full range of learning abilities.

  • Each student is capable of learning.

  • Schools and teachers do make a difference to the outcomes of each student.

Equity principles for learning2
Equity principles for learning

Strategic action at the state, regional and school level to identify, challenge and eliminate inequalities will contribute to students from these groups receiving a socially just education which leads to equitable outcomes for each student.

Equity principles for learning3
Equity principles for learning

This action will be most effective when:

  • quality teaching practices demonstrate an appreciation of each student’s needs, background and prior learning experiences

  • the school’s learning community is focused on improving outcomes for students

  • resources and support are targeted to students identified as being at risk of not achieving NSW syllabus outcomes or of disengaging from schools

  • whole school planning identifies and works towards eliminating barriers for disadvantaged groups in accessing and participating in education

  • all members of the school community are encouraged and supported to take on leadership roles.

Priority schools programs psp
Priority Schools Programs (PSP)

Equity programs resources maximise the opportunities schools can provide to address the persisting and unacceptable gap in the achievement of many students in the areas of literacy, numeracy and engagement in learning.

Module 1 understanding equity

How PSP works

PSP inter-related action areas

Quality teaching and learning

Classroom and school organisation and school culture

Home, school and community partnerships

Sipa study
SIPA study

The study demonstrates that the relationship between the quality of classroom pedagogy and tasks received by students, based on their SES and ATSI status, is highly significant at the class level.

Griffiths, Amosa, Ladwig, & Gore (2007)

Learnings from the nsw priority action schools program
Learnings from the NSW Priority Action Schools Program

Schools that made behaviour management strategies a key focus of their PASP initiatives were generally not as successful as they hoped in achieving improvements in student learning outcomes. Indeed, schools that employed versions of productive pedagogies appeared to have greater improvements in classroom and school behaviour as well as greater improvements in student learning outcomes – almost certainly because they focused on improving student engagement in learning, with the effect that fewer students were disruptive.

What we know works
What we know works

Teachers, schools and families can and do make a difference.

Professional learning of teachers, and commitment to expertise, is CENTRAL to improving student learning outcomes.

Psp website
PSP website