This explainer briefly summarises the evidence on trauma-informed practice within an educational context. It is intended as a brief introduction to the topic for teachers, principals and other school staff.
The accompanying discussion guide has been created to support principals, executive, teachers and school staff to unpack and reflect on the explainer, and to explore implications for their schools.
The information on this page is also available as a one page summary (PDF, 109kB)
The Refugee Student Counselling Support Team (RSCST) is a small Sydney-based team that provides specialised support to NSW public schools that have refugee students enrolled. Its main work areas include:
CESE conducted a process evaluation which involved:
The RSCST has a well-established service model that has been refined over time since its inception in 2016. The team’s reach has been broad and it has carried out an increasing volume of work in each of its core areas.
Capacity building has been the key priority from the outset and occurs through an array of professional learning workshops and via side-by-side work with school counselling staff. An increasing proportion of the team’s time has been spent providing targeted counselling support for refugee students with complex needs. The team also conducts group support work that is highly valued by schools. The team has established a contact number that is manned throughout the week for school enquiries and has developed strong local partnerships with internal and external refugee services.
School staff consistently observed that the team’s work has led to improvements in refugee students’ social and emotional skills, a reduced incidence and intensity of negative behaviours, and an increased readiness to learn. They described improvements to the wellbeing of students’ families, stemming from increased trust and confidence in school staff. Further, many school staff felt more confident and supported to put into practice the skills and strategies learnt from the RSCST’s capacity-building sessions and side-by-side counselling support. RSCST staff are particularly valued for their expertise in trauma-informed practice. The team’s collaboration with other refugee services has improved the set of services available to schools and to refugee students.
Recruitment has been a key challenge, and the team has often operated with less than its full complement of eight staff.
The nature of work requires a combination of specialist skills and personal attributes that are not easily found. The team is also working on increasing schools’ awareness of the team’s responsibilities and range of services, and on managing schools’ expectations of support. An ongoing challenge is deciding how to prioritise the team’s limited time most effectively across the state as demand for its services continues to grow.
The Workforce profile of the NSW teaching profession 2017 (PDF, 5MB) includes data that details teachers' characteristics and experiences from entry into initial teacher education through to exit from the profession. The report provides information on both government and non-government school teachers, early childhood teachers and teachers in training.
The 2017 report builds on the data presented in the following reports:
The literature review defines classroom management and provides a brief overview of classroom management research. It also describes the characteristics of effective classroom management strategies and how schools can best support teachers when implementing them.
Classroom management refers to the strategies teachers use to support and facilitate learning in the classroom. Effective classroom management is important for student achievement because it creates an environment that minimises disruptions, maximises instruction time, and encourages students to engage in learning.
The evidence suggests that classroom management requires both preventative and responsive strategies, with an emphasis on preventative strategies.
Preventative strategies are proactive and encourage students to be on-task, motivated to learn, and prosocial. Effective preventative strategies include:
Responsive strategies include corrective responses to inappropriate behaviours. They support students to re-engage in learning. Effective corrective practices:
The text on this page is also available as a downloadable summary (PDF, 107kB)
How high expectations and engagement in primary school drive student learning explores the role of student engagement and classroom practices for improving student learning. Specifically, it looks at the impact of engagement and effective teaching experienced in Years 5, 6 and 7 on academic performance in Year 7.
• A culture of high expectations is as important for learning in primary school as it is in high school. Year 5 students who report having teachers with high expectations are over 6 months ahead in their learning by Year 7.
• Socioeconomic status has an impact on students’ engagement at school. The proportion of students engaged in primary school is lower for students in the lowest socioeconomic quartile than for more advantaged students across measures of both classroom and social engagement at school.
• Other aspects of effective teaching also matter. When students understand the purpose of what they are learning and teachers deliver clear instruction and relevant content, student achievement improves.
• Having positive peer relationships and classroom behaviour during primary school are also important for learning.
• Students with a positive attitude towards homework during the final year of primary school have better numeracy outcomes in the first year of high school.
The publication is accompanied by professional learning reflection guides for principals and school executive staff to support school leaders in considering the implications of this research for practices in their schools. Two accompanying case studies, from Liverpool West and Warwick Farm public schools, provide additional resources to showcase how schools can effectively promote engagement and ensure high expectations of their students.
The NSW Department of Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022 includes the commitment to ensure that every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools. High expectations reflect an understanding of students’ capacity, ensuring that they feel known at school and are challenged in their learning. Schools can use the department’s Tell Them From Me surveys to capture students’ perceptions of the expectations that they experience. This knowledge can then help build an accurate and timely picture that schools can use for practical improvements.
This page provides a brief overview of findings from the 2018 NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations and expectations survey relating to Vocational Education and Training (VET) participation in school. Access the main 2018 report.
One-in-three respondents answered questions about VET participation – 1,160 Year 12 completers and 1,487 early school leavers.
• 81.9% of Year 12 completers and 75.3% of early school leavers said VET courses were available at school. A higher proportion of Year 12 completers said VET was available at school. Early school leavers are more likely to be unsure if VET was available.
• 34.1% of Year 12 completers and 41.5% of early school leavers started a VET course at school.1 Early leavers are more likely to have started a VET course at school than Year 12 completers.
• 46.3% of Year 12 completers and 48.2% of early school leavers said doing VET at school increased their interest in a career or job in this area.2 There is no difference between the proportion of Year 12 completers and early school leavers.
• 18.1% of Year 12 completers and 45.1% of early school leavers would have been interested in doing a VET course if available.3 Early school leavers would have been more interested in doing VET if available.
Most Year 12 completers who started a VET course finished the course and received a qualification. Early school leavers are more likely to not finish the VET course they start at school.4
Finished course and qualification
Finished course but not qualification
Did not finish
Most common reasons for not completing the VET qualification, despite completing the course, included no longer being interested in a job in the area and not needing the qualification for employment.
• 28.9% - no longer interested in job in area
• 14.7% - didn't need the qualification for employment
• 12.0% - no longer interested after completing school
• 20.5% - didn't need the qualification for employment
• 18.8% - no longer interested in job in area
• 14.6% - no longer interested after completing school5
82.8% of Year 12 completers and 85.4% of early school leavers agreed they benefitted from studying VET at school even though they did not finish the qualification.6
Almost two-thirds (64.0%) of early school leavers who started a VET course did not finish the course at school. Female early school leavers are more likely not to finish the course than male early school leavers (70.1% vs. 61.0%). Students often left school before they could complete the course.
• 42.5% - left school before finishing the course
• 23.4% - no longer fit with plans
• 10.2% - no longer interested in job in area
Among early school leavers who did not finish the course:
• 18% completed a related qualification after school
• 22% were currently studying for a related qualification
70.2% of Year 12 completers and 84.3% of early school leavers agreed they benefitted from studying VET at school even though they did not finish the course.7
1of those where VET was offered at school
2of those who started a VET course at school
3of those where VET was not offered at school or respondent was unsure
4For Year 12 completers, 2.9% of participants indicated that they did not know if they had finished the course or did not answer the question. For early school leavers, 4.3% of participants indicated that they either did not know if they had finished the course, or did not answer the question.
5males (18.8%) more likely to report this reason than females (7.6%)
6of those who finished the course but not the qualification
7of those who did not finish the course
This page provides a brief overview of findings from the early school leaver cohort of the NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations and expectations survey. Access the main 2018 report.
A total of 4,470 students who left school before completing Year 12 in 2017 took part in the survey in 2018.
• Over half (57.1%) of early school leavers are in some form of education or training in 20181.
• One-quarter (24.8%) are employed.
• More than one-in-ten (12.9%) are looking for work.
• One-in-twenty (5.2%) are not in the labour force, education or training (NILFET).
• The most common form of education and training is an apprenticeship, with around a third (32.4%) of early school leavers training at this level; up 6.7 percentage points since 2010.
• Less than 10% of early school leavers are pursuing each other type of education and training.
• Participation in VET Certificate I-III has decreased 10.7 percentage points since 2010.
Up 0.7 percentage points since 2010
Up 1.3 percentage points since 2010
Down 10.7 percentage points since 2010
Up 6.7 percentage points since 2010
Up 3.9 percentage points since 2010
Down 2.5 percentage points since 2010
Down 2.3 percentage points since 2010
Up 1.1 percentage points since 2010
Up 1.7 percentage points since 2010
Academic or behavioural difficulties - 10.8%
External factors or pressures - 10.4%
Other educational opportunities - 6.8%
Bullying - 4.6%
Other reasons - 3.2%
1Main post-school destination variable prioritises education related outcomes over participation in employment. For more information on how main destinations are derived, or for the study background and methodology, read the 2018 technical report.
2Full-time work is 35+ hours per week. Part-time work is less than 35 hours per week.
Since 2010, the NSW secondary students’ post-school destinations survey has been collecting information about students’ main destinations in the year after completing Year 12 or leaving school. The survey seeks to provide critical information on education pathways, attainments and destinations of young people in NSW and inform policy making related to students’ post-school education, training and employment.
In 2018, 3,529 students who finished Year 12 and 4,470 students who left school before completing Year 12 (known as early school leavers) completed the survey. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait students, students who attended schools participating in the Connected Communities program and students who left school before the minimum leaving age were in scope for the survey. A sample of students who completed Year 12 or left school after the minimum leaving age were also in scope.
This resource has practical tips on how to consider cognitive load when creating teaching presentations. It was developed based on the research in CESE's cognitive load publications, with the help and inspiration of Concord High School. The PowerPoint can be downloaded and used in schools for professional learning activities. Speaker notes are included in the presentation. A PDF version can also be downloaded below (does not contain speaker notes).