Evaluator company/business: Australian Catholic University; University of Western Sydney; University of New England, SiMERR National Research Centre
Summary: This evaluation focuses on a range of reforms implemented in selected NSW schools as part of the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ NP). These reforms included the establishment of schools as Centres for Excellence (C4Es), the employment of Highly Accomplished Teachers (HATs) in mentoring and teacher support roles, the preparation of high-quality teacher education graduates by school and university staff, and the employment of paraprofessionals. The evaluation examines the reforms using surveys and semi-structured interviews of school staff, as well as professional experience reports from universities. Data are subject to a mix of qualitative (thematic) and quantitative (Rasch) analysis techniques. The most significant findings were the pivotal role that HATs play as a major quality assurance mechanism and the importance of developing effective relationships between personnel within and across school networks. The findings also highlight the importance of identifying relevant contextual needs as the basis for developing strategies that support whole-school improvements.