News (13)

Did you know that CESE has six posters based on some of our most popular publications? The posters summarise the evidence-base on particular topics, so that schools can display them in staffrooms or common areas. Publications with posters include:

You can access the posters by visiting any of the above publications, and downloading the poster PDF. We can also post copies out to schools or Network offices. If would like to order posters, please complete the poster order form (PDF, 25kB) and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

CESE recently published a Cognitive load theory classroom practice guide. The publication accompanies our popular paper, 'Cognitive load theory: Research that teachers really need to understand'.
The classroom practice guide:

  • explores seven teaching strategies for optimising students’ cognitive load 
  • provides practical examples from the NSW syllabuses
  • asks teachers to reflect on their own practice.

NSW public school educators who are interested to learn more about the evidence behind cognitive load theory can enrol in our short cognitive load professional learning course. For details, visit CESE’s professional learning library.

In November, we published 5 case studies that highlight effective wellbeing practice, and how it supports learning, in local contexts. These case studies were prepared to assist schools to meet the department's strategic goal of 'Every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools'.

We also published an environmental scan document that describes the structures and approaches that support student wellbeing and improve pastoral care. It includes an assessment of:

  • current departmental practices
  • departmental data, trends and information
  • relevant state, national and international research
  • current practices in a number of NSW public, independent and Catholic schools.

Access both the case studies and the environmental scan. 

Sir Joseph Banks High School and Whalan Public School both consistently demonstrate high levels of advocacy at school, as reported by their students in our Tell Them From Me surveys. In our latest podcast, CESE sits down with Murray Kitteringham and Melanie Check from Sir Joseph Banks HS, and Helen Polios from Whalan PS. Murray and Melanie discuss how school equity funding is used to respond to student needs. The school uses data in a positive way to shift perceptions and share student successes with the school community. Helen discusses how Whalan PS has a consultative and inclusive relationship with families. By spending time listening to students, parents and staff, they have built strong relationships with the community. Hear these and many more strategies used by the schools in the Supporting students' learning podcast


Related publications 

The podcast is based on two new publications on advocacy and support:

  • Insights from students, parents and teachers Learning Curve
  • Resources for schools, teachers and parents. 

The Learning Curve investigates what the Tell Them From Me data tells us about advocacy and support. The Resources publication demonstrates this at a local level, with in-depth case studies from Sir Joseph Banks HS and Whalan PS. Read the Supporting Students' Learning publications


Friday, 17 August 2018

Two new evaluation reports

We have recently published evaluation reports for two major NSW Department of Education reforms:

LSLD aims to give NSW government schools more authority to make local decisions about how best to meet the needs of their students. LSLD focuses on five interrelated areas:

  • making decisions
  • managing resources
  • staffing schools
  • working locally
  • reducing red tape.

The evaluation of LSLD began in mid-2016 and will conclude in mid-2019. 

We also released a series of thematic evaluation reports as part of the ongoing evaluation of GTIL. GTIL is the NSW government's plan to improve the quality of teaching in NSW schools. We evaluated key reforms under GTIL relating to:

  • school leadership initiatives
  • cadet and internship programs
  • professional experience.

CESE recently developed a series of registered professional learning courses for all public school teachers, school leaders and Directors, Educational Leadership. The purpose of this professional learning is to connect education theory and research with school context. The current courses include:

What's involved? 

There are three activities involved in each course:

  • reading or listening to a CESE publication
  • responding to a set of reflection questions
  • completing a short survey.

When the reflection responses are signed off by a supervisor, or a MyPL line manager, participants will receive 2 hours of accreditation.

If you would like to learn more about these courses, and the other face-to-face workshops that CESE offers, visit CESE’s new professional learning library. Here you will also find a flyer that includes role-based suggestions for undertaking the courses.
To register directly, visit MyPL and search ‘CESE’.

CESE recently published a series of five case studies on schools that are creating a culture of excellence. These schools include:

• Lansvale Public School
• Rooty Hill High School
• Taree West Public School
• Woonona High School
• Sefton High School

Each of these schools has embedded quality teaching and learning practices, including:
• ongoing and targeted professional development
• a focus on student wellbeing and community engagement
• high expectations for all
• collaborative approaches to school planning.


CESE's latest attendance bulletin analyses attendance rates at NSW government schools from 2006 to 2017. Here's a summary of the key findings:

  • Attendance rates were generally high for primary students. The average rate was 93.9 per cent in 2017.
  • Across years of schooling, attendance rates decreased at a much slower rate in primary years (drop of 1 percentage point between Kindergarten and Year 6), than in secondary years (drop of 5 percentage points from Year 7 to Year 10).
  • There remains a sizable gap of 7.1 percentage points in average attendance rates between schools in major metropolitan cities and those in remote / very remote areas.
  • The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students’ attendance rates has decreased from 7.1 percentage points in 2011 to 6.4 percentage points in 2017. Aboriginal students’ attendance rate at remote/very remote schools increased 4.3 percentage points since 2006.

CESE's latest literature review presents Australian and international evidence on early childhood education and its impacts on children's learning and development.

It highlights that:
• high quality early childhood education can improve children's cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes
• disadvantaged children stand to gain the most from early childhood education
• the positive effects of early childhood education programs are contingent upon, and proportionate to, their quality.


Thursday, 08 March 2018

Language diversity in NSW 2017

CESE's latest statistical bulletin identifies the diversity of students with a language background other than English who were enrolled in NSW government schools in 2017.

Here's a summary of the key findings:
• About one third (34%) of students in NSW government schools come from homes where languages other than English are spoken.
• The concentration of students with a Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE) is greater in the Sydney metropolitan area.
• Across all Sydney schools, the proportion of LBOTE students is 53%. The highest proportion of LBOTE students is in Sydney-West.
• The Indian languages category is now the largest language group, representing 17% of total LBOTE students. This is before Chinese languages (16%) and Arabic (14%).

Language participation in NSW secondary schools has been in decline since the 1960s. Only around 10% of students in NSW now take a language for the Higher School Certificate (HSC). The decline in student numbers is particularly noticeable from the beginning of the middle years of secondary high school onwards.

CESE's Language participation in NSW secondary schools literature review provides a brief overview of languages education in Australia and NSW, including participation rates and national and state policy.

It also reviews the research around school and classroom factors which can increase language participation, these include:
• high-quality teaching
• student motivation
• use of technology
• effective leadership

language participation in NSW secondary schools litreview

Accompanying the literature review are 4 secondary school case studies. Each case study explores the practices that contribute to success in language participation at each school.

case studies second language

Cognitive load theory is a theory of how the human brain learns and stores knowledge. It was recently described by British educationalist Dylan Wiliam as 'the single most important thing for teachers to know'. Grounded in a robust evidence base, cognitive load theory provides theoretical and empirical support for explicit models of instruction.

CESE's Cognitive load theory audio paper describes:
• what cognitive load theory is
• types of cognitive load
• recommendations for the classroom based on the cognitive load evidence base.