Authors: Louise Taggart, Diana Eqbal, Meg Dione and Barry Laing
Evaluator company/business: Quality Assurance Team Policy, Planning and Reporting Unit, NSW Department of Education
Summary: The evaluation of the Year 11 and 12 Norta Norta Individual Sponsorship Program aimed to measure the extent to which Norta Norta has achieved its objectives in improving learning and levels of achievement, creating more positive attitudes, strengthening engagement with school and improving attendance and retention for Year 12 Aboriginal students. Data was gathered from school staff, students, tutors and Higher School Certificate results. More than 90 per cent of school staff and tutor survey respondents rated the overall program as either highly or moderately effective. The apparent retention rate for Aboriginal students increased from 33 per cent in 2009 to 43 per cent in 2012.
Authors: Meg Dione-Rodgers, Susan Harriman and Barry Laing
Evaluator Company/Business: Program Evaluation Unit Student Engagement and Program Evaluation Bureau (SEPEB), NSW Department of Education
Summary: This evaluation aimed to assess the effectiveness of the program, to identify the extent to which the program was operating as intended and to assess whether the program had improved the educational outcomes of Aboriginal students. QuickSmart Numeracy is a basic skills intervention funded under the National Partnership on Literacy and Numeracy (NPLN). The QuickSmart Numeracy program targets middle school students performing at the lowest 30 per cent of the achievement range. Fourteen schools were involved in the evaluation and measures included site visits, interviews with stakeholders, surveys, analysis of documentation and assessment data. Support for the positive impact of QuickSmart was more evident in the qualitative data than from broad scale testing.
Authors: Meg Dione-Rodgers, Susan Harriman and Barry Laing
Evaluator Company/Business: Program Evaluation Unit, Student Engagement and Program Evaluation Bureau (SEPEB), NSW Department of Education
Summary: This report presents findings from the evaluation of the Accelerated Literacy program in 28 schools, many with a high proportion of Aboriginal students. The evaluation included stakeholder interviews, site visits, an online survey and analysis of administrative and student achievement data. The significant finding of this evaluation is that Accelerated Literacy delivered positive effects for students, teachers and real benefits for school communities.
Evaluator company/business: University of Canberra and University of Melbourne
URL or PDF: Download the Low socioeconomic status school communities Smarter Schools National Partnership - School external partnerships evaluation: Case studies, progress report 4 (PDF, 594kB)
Summary: This report presents case studies of schools participating in the External Partnerships component of the Low socioeconomic status Schools National Partnership project. The report provides six case studies of government, Catholic and independent schools that implemented partnerships with universities, as well as updating six case studies from an earlier progress report bearing on schools that had engaged in parent partnerships. Schools reported that the creation of external partnerships with universities had raised awareness of pathways for students. The case studies demonstrated that successful partnerships are: supported by school leaders, avoid deficit approaches, have a strong focus on student learning, are characterised by reciprocal trust and mutual benefit, entail the construction of new enabling structures and need to be adequately resourced.
Authors: Louise Watson, Jenny Chesters, Affrica Taylor, Adam Murray, Stephen Lamb, Michael Long, Merryn Davies and Esther Doecke
Evaluator Company/Business: University of Canberra and University of Melbourne
URL or PDF: Download the Low socioeconomic status school communities Smarter Schools National Partnership - School External Partnerships Evaluation, progress report 3 (PDF, 1.51MB)
Summary: This report examines the types of external partnerships undertaken by a sub-set of schools participating in the Low Socio-economic Status School Communities National Partnership (Low SES NP). The authors analysed survey data from 285 schools to find out principals' perceptions of the effectiveness of a range of partnerships including partnerships with parents and carers, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, training providers and other schools. Key findings from the evaluation include: almost all principals (96 per cent) reported school external partnerships with parents or carers, and 83 per cent of respondents reported engaging in partnerships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. In addition, it was found that the Low SES NP has supported the expansion of external partnerships in Low SES NP schools.
Evaluator company/business: Policy, Planning and Reporting Unit, NSW Department of Education
URL or PDF: Download the interim report of the Norta Norta individual sponsorship program evaluation (PDF, 432kB).
Summary: The purpose of this formative evaluation was to measure the extent to which the Norta Norta Individual Sponsorship Program had achieved its objectives of improving engagement, attendance and retention of Year 12 Aboriginal students. Data was gathered by online surveys from school staff, students and tutors from more than 100 schools and interviews with principals, teachers, Aboriginal staff, students, tutors and parents and community members in a sample of 18 schools across eight NSW regions. The study found that almost 80% of all eligible students took part in the sponsorship program in 2011. While the authors noted that was difficult to directly attribute improvements in learning outcomes and student engagement to Norta Norta alone, early observations indicated an improvement in educational outcomes for students such as improved course completion; improved engagement with schooling in general; improved attendance and increased rates of completion of Year 12 and completion of the HSC and enhanced post‐school aspirations.
Author: Tony Powers
Evaluator Company/Business: Powers & Associates (Aust.) Pty Ltd
URL or PDF: Download the report on 'The Way Ahead' - mentoring of Aboriginal apprentices and trainees: follow-up and assessment (PDF, 1.01MB)
Summary: The aim of the study was to assess how well the program was working, to identify the benefits of the mentoring services provided and to assess the true impact of the program on retention. A range of methods were used to gather quantitative and qualitative data including surveys and interviews with participants, mentors and stakeholders and analysis of commencement, retention and completion data from the State Training Services Integrated Vocational Education and Training System (STS IVETS) database. The program has provided mentoring support to a relatively small percentage of Aboriginal apprentices and trainees – somewhere between 2% and 5% over the last 3 years. Early findings suggest that the mentoring program can improve retention however to achieve a more significant impact the program needs to address a number of issues relating to the timeliness of the support offered and participant selection.