Impact of mobile digital devices in schools (PDF, 2MB) - a literature review on the impact of non-educational mobile digital device use on student wellbeing.
The Workforce profile of the NSW teaching profession 2016 (PDF, 6MB) 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 2016 report builds on the data presented in the Workforce profile of the NSW teaching profession 2015 and the Workforce profile of the NSW teaching profession 2014.
These reports are part of an ongoing evaluation of Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL). GTIL is the NSW government's plan to improve the quality of teaching in NSW schools. Learn more about GTIL.
CESE evaluated key reforms under GTIL relating to:
• school leadership initiatives
• cadet and internship programs
• professional experience.
School leadership initiatives
CESE evaluated three key reforms under GTIL that aim to support leadership development among existing, new and aspiring leaders. The reforms evaluated were the:
• NSW Public School Leadership and Management Credential (action 15.3)
• Leadership Development Initiative (actions 14.1 and 14.2)
• Principal, School Leadership Initiative (action 15.2).
Cadetship and internship programs
CESE conducted an evaluation of two GTIL actions designed to attract high achieving students into the teaching profession in areas of workforce need. The department introduced the Cadetship and Internship Programs in 2014 to address these actions.
Cadets and interns are employed on a part-time basis during their teacher education studies to provide support to classroom teachers. They are guaranteed a permanent teaching position in a NSW public school upon completion of their studies.
CESE conducted an evaluation of the key GTIL actions designed to improve the quality of professional experience placements for pre-service teachers. The report presents the findings in relation to the implementation and early impacts of:
• Closer matching of supply and demand for graduate teachers through the introduction of Professional Experience Agreements (action 4.2)
• Establishment of specialist professional experience schools (action 4.3)
• Professional learning for professional experience supervisors (action 4.4)
• Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers leading professional experience activities (action 4.5).
A final GTIL evaluation report is due in 2019.
In 2012, the NSW Department of Education launched the Local Schools, Local Decisions (LSLD) education reform. 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 reform areas: making decisions, managing resources, staffing schools, working locally and reducing red tape. A cornerstone element of LSLD is the introduction of a new needs-based approach to school funding through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM).
CESE is conducting an evaluation of LSLD. The evaluation began in mid-2016 and will conclude in mid-2019. The evaluation includes a process evaluation that investigates the implementation of LSLD, and an outcome evaluation focussing on the impact of the reform on school and student outcomes.
This LSLD interim evaluation report presents interim findings on three key evaluation questions:
1. How have schools spent their RAM equity loadings?
In 2016, schools spent their RAM equity loadings on four main spending categories: employing key staff, enhancing learning support, planning and developing programs, and building staff capacity.
2. What has been the impact of LSLD on school management and local decision-making practices?
In four of the five LSLD reform areas, principals perceive the impact of LSLD to have been positive. In the fifth reform area, reducing red tape, more than two-thirds of principals
said that LSLD has not had a positive impact on simplifying administrative processes.
3. What has been the impact of LSLD and RAM funding on school and student outcomes?
The five student engagement measures included in this report (attendance, suspension, social engagement, institutional engagement and aspirations to complete Year 12) showed only very small to small overall changes over time. In terms of differential change over time, we found no relationship between changes over time in these engagement measures and levels of need, with the notable exception that students in higher-need schools typically showed less positive change over time in levels of social engagement than students in lowerneed schools. On these findings alone, there is not yet evidence to support the idea that higher-need schools benefit more from the RAM equity loadings than lower-need schools.
A final evaluation report will be published by CESE in Quarter 2, 2019. This report will include an analysis of educational outcomes, including in-depth statistical modelling of NAPLAN results from 2012 to 2018, which will help us better understand the longer term effects of the reform.
The summary provided on this page is also available as a PDF – Local Schools, Local Decisions evaluation summary (PDF, 135kB).
These case studies describe how these five NSW government schools have created and are sustaining a culture of excellence at their school.
The School Excellence Framework (SEF) describes 14 elements of high quality practice which underpin school excellence in the three domains of learning, teaching and leading. In 2016, five schools (Lansvale Public School, Rooty Hill High School, Sefton High School, Taree West Public School and Woonona High School) were identified as excelling in most of these elements. The practices of these schools are described in case studies of how individual schools create and maintain a culture of excellence. The high quality practices common to these five schools include data collection and analysis; ongoing evaluation of teaching practices; peer support and mentoring among staff; interschool collaboration; and educational leadership.
All five schools maintain a culture of building educational aspiration and supporting students’ learning through a partnership between teachers, students and parents. Teachers continually monitor students’ academic progress using formative and summative assessment data (including NAPLAN and HSC data). Students are also encouraged to make personal learning plans and have discussions with teachers about where, and what, improvements are needed in their learning.
• These schools also strategically involve parents in students’ learning to ensure that learning does not stop once students leave the school grounds. By sharing responsibility for students’ learning, the schools create learning environments where students feel motivated to learn and have adequate support to reach their full learning potential.
• The case study schools emphasise staff learning and development and promote a culture of self and/or peer evaluations to improve teaching practice. Each school has professional learning systems in place that enable teachers to learn from and with each other about a range of teaching-related topics. Although schools may differ in their approach to professional learning, the goal remains the same across schools – to sustain quality teaching practice.
• To facilitate learning and development, the case study schools often form learning alliances with other schools to promote collaboration, peer learning and mentoring among teachers.
• The principals of these schools are strong educational leaders who model instructional leadership within and beyond their schools. These principals all share a common desire to build leadership capacity among their staff and often allow staff to play key roles in the making and/or enactment of school decisions.
• It is clear that not all schools that excel do so by focusing on exactly the same things, nor do they all demonstrate the same quality practices in the same way. Hence, there are many similarities between these case studies but also some differences. Before considering or adopting any of the practices discussed in these case studies, schools must first understand how contextual factors (such as ICSEA value or location) might affect outcomes. The School Excellence Framework continues to provide a reliable point of reference for schools to assess their practices each year.
The information on this page is also available as a downloadable one-page summary (PDF, 189kB).
The information on this page is also available as a one-page summary (PDF, 171kB).
This literature review summarises evidence of the relationship between early childhood education and cognitive and noncognitive outcomes for children. It also summarises evidence from a number of international longitudinal studies and randomised control trials. Australian evidence, though limited, has also been summarised.
High quality early childhood education can improve children’s cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes
High-quality early childhood education is robustly associated with positive outcomes at school entry. Children who participate in early childhood education have higher cognitive and noncognitive development than children who do not participate. The benefits of early childhood education are stronger at higher levels of duration (years) and intensity (hours) of attendance. However, most early childhood education interventions yield short-term outcomes, with effects ‘fading out’ between one to three years after the intervention. The Australian evidence base on early childhood education effects is relatively limited. The extent to which early childhood education affects Australian children's development is largely unknown.
Disadvantaged children stand to gain the most from high quality early childhood education
High-quality early childhood education is particularly beneficial for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, as early childhood education provides cognitive and non-cognitive stimulation not available in the home learning environment. Interventions are best provided in the earliest years of life, as these yield higher developmental, social, and economic returns than interventions provided at later stages. Early childhood education interventions help to reduce inequalities in educational outcomes for disadvantaged children at the time of school entry. Small-scale, intensive early childhood education interventions (such as the well-known High/Scope Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs), that incorporate additional components such as parenting programs and home visits from teachers are found to be most effective. Compared to more universal programs, smaller-scale, intensive interventions produce longer-term outcomes.
The positive effects of early childhood education programs are contingent upon, and proportionate to, their quality
The provision of high-quality early childhood education is beneficial for learning and development. Early childhood education quality typically comprises structural quality (characteristics such as the teacher to child ratio) and process quality (nature of interactions between children; their environment; and teachers and peers). A policy lever that will increase the positive effects of early childhood education participation is an increase in educational quality.
Recent analysis of early childhood education quality in Australia undertaken by Melbourne University’s E4Kids study, shows that there remains substantial room for quality improvement in Australian jurisdictions, including NSW.
This paper reviews school and classroom factors which can increase participation in languages in secondary schools. It is a companion piece to CESE's case studies on language participation in NSW secondary schools.
These case studies highlight the school and classroom-based practices that four individual schools identify as contributing to their success in language participation. They are a companion to the Language participation literature review.
These case studies illustrate how five NSW primary schools have achieved high learning growth for their Aboriginal students. This work supports the 'Closing the Gap' strategy, a Council of Australian Governments commitment.
The Sustaining Success case study (PDF, 800kB) describes how seven schools in the Fairfield Network have sustained and built on their successful educational outcomes by implementing the six effectives practices summarised in the CESE publication Six effective practices in high growth schools. The practices are:
|Systems & processes||Cultures & attitudes||Programs & activities|
|High expectations||High expectations are matched with high support.
Comprehensive student welfare and wellbeing systems.
|Visibly expect success of all students.
Celebrate success and achievement for all students.
|School values are clearly articulated and explicitly taught.
Social skills taught and reinforced regularly.
|Student engagement||Develop a strong understanding of students’ cultures and backgrounds.
Develop connections in the broader community to provide post-school opportunities and pathways for students.
|The key to engagement is a sense of belonging.
Flip disadvantage by focusing on helping others and taking a global perspective.
|Offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and programs to cater to diverse student interests.
School has to have ‘something for everyone’ – academic and/or extra-curricular – to sustain engagement.
Combination of both explicit and integrated approaches to teaching literacy.
|Data-informed programming and planning, strongly led by the school executive.
A belief that all students should be able to access the curriculum and therefore a focus on genuine curriculum differentiation.
Explicit lessons, including learning intentions, goals, feedback, student self-monitoring and explicit pathways to improvement (supports student engagement).
|Systems & processes||Cultures & attitudes||Programs & activities|
Structured systems for implementing school goals: strategy, plan, implement, evaluate, embed.
A culture of evaluative thinking, where program evaluation is a routine part of school life and evidence is regularly collected and reflected upon.
A consistent approach to using data to drive and monitor school goals e.g. SMART, RAP.
Common ‘core’ teaching and learning programs across grades/KLAs, updated regularly as student needs change.
Collaborative cultures develop gradually over time through collegial and supportive relationships.
Use of technology e.g. Google docs, Sentral, shared drives, email.
TPL timetable planned yearly in advance, with flexibility to respond to emerging needs
|Open door culture of sharing resources, asking questions and seeking advice from colleagues.
Staff given some choice in TPL, interest drives engagement.
Balance between whole-school TPL and small-group learning.
The Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan 2012-2016 was developed to address the widespread inequalities in learning outcomes known to exist from the earliest years of schooling in NSW schools serving low socio-economic status communities. This report presents the findings of an evaluation of NSW Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan 2012-2016. It examines the extent to which student literacy and numeracy improved, factors that may have led to any improvement, and the extent to which any improvement achieved was cost-effective.
To help share the evidence, Effective reading is available as a summary poster (PDF, 324kB).
Reading is a foundational, yet complex cognitive skill upon which other skills are built. Early success in reading is a powerful predictor of later achievement in a range of other academic areas. Individuals without literacy skills are at risk of being unable to participate in the workforce or engage fully in civic and social life.
Since 2000, there have been major reviews of the teaching of reading in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. These reviews, along with other research, have consistently identified five key components of effective reading programs: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The CESE literature review ‘Effective reading instruction in the early years of school’ summarises this research and concludes that, to be most successful, the five key components must be taught explicitly, sequentially and systematically.
The ability to hear the sounds in spoken words and understand that words are made up of sequences of sounds.
Phonics instruction connects phonemes with written letters so that the reader can transfer knowledge of sounds to the printed word. Synthetic phonics’ is the approach with the most robust evidence base.
The ability to read quickly and naturally with accuracy and expression. Fluency contains the skill of automaticity which allows a reader to recognise words quickly.
When children ‘sound out’ a word, their brain connects the pronunciation of a sequence of sounds to a word in their vocabulary to find a logical match. If a match is not created because the word they are reading is not in their vocabulary, comprehension is interrupted.
The understanding and interpretation of what is read. Comprehension requires having a sufficient vocabulary.
The 2015 workforce profile report (PDF, 1.7MB) 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 as well as teachers in training.
The Workforce Profile of the NSW Teaching Profession 2015 is published in response to element 5.1 of Great Teaching, Inspired Learning (GTIL), the NSW Government's plan for improving the quality of teaching and learning in NSW schools. Produced annually, the 2015 report builds on the data presented in the Workforce Profile of the NSW Teaching Profession 2014.
This paper examines evidence-based practices that can be implemented by schools to enhance literacy and numeracy performance. Educating students in literacy and numeracy is a key responsibility of schools as literacy and numeracy are ‘foundational skills’ that underpin the subsequent development of more complex skills. Literacy and numeracy skills also underpin workforce participation, productivity and the broader economy, and can impact on social and health outcomes. Individuals without these skills are at risk of not being able to participate in the workforce or engage fully in social and civic life.
Intervene early and maintain the focus
Research shows that access to quality early childhood education programs makes a significant and long-term difference to children’s development in many areas, including their cognitive development. Early intervention needs to be followed by continued high quality learning experiences to maintain efficacy. The first three years of school are a peak window within which children develop the literacy and numeracy skills that they will carry into upper primary and secondary school.
Know what students can do and target teaching accordingly
There is a wide range of learning achievement amongst students in Australian schools. Targeted teaching can lift the performance of students who are many years behind and also challenge students who are already well ahead of year-level expectations. In order to implement targeted teaching effectively, teachers need accurate information about what students know and are ready to learn next. This information can be acquired through the use of formative assessment which has been shown to have a significant effect on learning across the spectrum.
Have clear and transparent learning goals
Research shows that having clear and transparent learning goals at both the school and classroom level leads to improvements in learning achievement. Evidence shows that students who experience explicit teaching practices perform better than students who do not. Explicit teaching practice involves teachers clearly showing students what to do and how to do it, rather than having students discover or construct this information for themselves. Well-defined learning continua or progressions support explicit teaching by enabling teachers to understand what is to be learned and to determine accurately students’ current learning achievement.
Focus on teacher professional learning that improves the teaching of literacy and numeracy
High-quality teaching is the greatest in-school influence on student engagement and outcomes. Quality professional learning increases teaching quality. Research indicates that professional learning is most effective if it deepens teachers’ content knowledge and knowledge about how students learn that content; is supported by the wider school community and is seen as part of achieving whole school goals; and is linked to clear and relevant goals that are related to student outcomes.
The information on this page is also available as a one-page summary (PDF, 162kB).
The What works best reflection guide (PDF, 800kB) is a practical resource for teachers and school executive staff. It gives schools explicit examples of what can be done to improve student engagement and achievement. Teachers can use this guide to reflect on their individual teaching strategies and to evaluate their own practice. The themes discussed can also be implemented through a whole-school approach.
Drawing on the evidence presented in CESE’s publications What works best: Evidence-based practices to help improve NSW student performance; Six Effective Practices in High Growth Schools; Student Wellbeing and Tell Them From Me case studies; this guide assists school staff to reflect on what’s working in their schools and what can be improved.