Tools and Resources

Tools and resources

This page hosts supplementary information, additional resources and external links to support schools, their principals, teachers and community members, in taking informed action and implementing effective literacy and numeracy practices. 



National School Improvement Tool

The National School Improvement Tool (NSIT) brings together findings from international research into the practices of highly effective schools and school leaders. The tool assists schools to review and reflect on their efforts to improve the quality of classroom teaching and learning. It supports school-wide conversations – including with parents and families, school governing bodies, local communities and students themselves – about aspects of current practice, areas for improvement and evidence that progress is being made.

NSW DEC Analytical framework for effective leadership and school improvement in literacy and numeracy

The NSW DEC Analytical Framework and the accompanying professional learning program, Team Leadership for School Improvement K-12, provides schools with structured and comprehensive support to identify school priorities and plan appropriate actions for school improvement.

Great Schools Checklist

The Great Schools Checklist is a useful tool from Victoria identifying 10 elements against which you can systematically and objectively assess what your school is doing well now and the extent to which it is proactively seeking to shape the future of education. The checklist is published by the Victorian Council of School Organisations Inc (VICCSO).

Parents and families as partners with schools - a useful checklist 

This checklist identifies seven key areas to work on to identify where your school is doing well, how it is improving and what else it may need to do. This checklist is published on the SIGN website, an initiative of the Victorian Council of School Organisations Inc (VICCSO).

Measuring Your Family-School-Community Partnerships

This tool helps schools examine how to reach out and involve families and the community in children’s learning. It can help your school assess the strength of its partnerships, indicate focus or direction of partnerships, and identify areas that can be changed. This checklist has been developed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

Pathways to school improvement

This tool provides practical ideas—drawing on policy, research and best practice—on issues critical to educators engaged in school improvement. This resource was developed by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.


Resources for educators

Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation

The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) has been established in NSW as a hub for in-depth analysis of education practices and their effectiveness using reliable data and knowledge. CESE provides sound evidence upon which policy makers and educators can focus teaching and learning priorities and target investment to the current and emerging needs of NSW teachers, students, parents and families, industry, and learning institutions.


Pathways for Learning, Anywhere, anytime – a Network for Educators (PLANE) is an online educator community and networking space that provides accredited professional learning courses, as well as innovative multi-media resource and collaborative tools to transform teaching practices the 21st century.

Teach, Learn, Share

The Teach, Learn, Share database is a national resource where educators and education systems can share their most effective approaches to literacy and numeracy teaching and learning in Australia.

What Works

The What Works Programs is a set of materials for those working in schools to assist them to plan and take action to improve educational outcomes for Australian Indigenous students.


The MySchool website includes profiles of almost 10,000 Australian schools and provides information on individual school performance, including results from national literacy and numeracy tests.


More on National Partnerships in NSW schools

Improving Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership

This website provides information on the implementation in NSW of the new Improving Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership. The site provides guidelines, example scenarios and forms to assist principals in implementing the Partnership reforms in their schools.

Smarter Schools National Partnerships

The national Smarter Schools National Partnerships (SSNPs) website provides information on the three COAG partnerships—Low Socio-Economic School Communities, Improving Teacher Quality, and Literacy and Numeracy— their implementation in each state and territory, and which schools have been participating. Videos of the SSNPs in action can be viewed and evaluation reports can downloaded.

Supporting School Communities Through National Partnerships

The Supporting School Communities website provides information about the planning and resourcing of schools in low SES communities across NSW to support them improve student outcomes through the implementation of the National Partnerships.

COAG Reform Council

The Council of Australian Government (COAG) is pursuing a reform agenda aimed at improving economic and social participation, strengthening the national economy, creating a more sustainable and liveable Australia, delivering better health services and closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage. The Smarter Schools National Partnerships are a key component of this agenda.


Related initiatives and programs

Great Teaching, Inspired Learning

The Great Teaching, Inspired Learning is a blueprint for action in NSW schools to improve teacher quality, commencing in 2013. This strategy includes reforms in initial teacher education, at entry into the profession, to develop and maintain professional practice, and to recognise and share outstanding practice.

Early Action For Success

The Early Action For Success Strategy aims to improve students’ performance through targeted support for primary schools in the lowest quartile of NAPLAN performance in literacy and numeracy. This DEC strategy responds to the Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan (2012-2016), outlined by the Ministerial Advisory Group on Literacy and Numeracy.

The Catholic Education Commission of NSW and the Association of Independent Schools NSW have also developed their respective implementation plans.

Every Student Every School

Every Student, Every School, 2012-2013, is an initiative providing better learning and support for the 90,000 students in NSW public schools with a disability, learning difficulties or behaviour support needs. The initiative has a strong focus on professional learning and support for teachers and staff.

Focus School Next Steps

Focus Schools in an Australian Government initiative and commitment of $30 million over two years to 2014 to directly assist selected schools across Australia to Close the Gap in education outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous students.

Connected Communities Strategy

Connected Communities in NSW Public Schools is a new approach to how education and training is delivered to the most vulnerable Aboriginal communities, and how this linked to related social, health and training services. The strategy will be implemented in 2013 in 15 geographically isolated schools and communities.