News (5)

Monday, 19 March 2018 13:45

NSW government schools' attendance rates

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 14:37

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.