Authors: Andrew Griffiths, Ian Watkins, Francis Matthew-Simmons, Sasindu Gamage
Evaluator company/business: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
Summary: This final evaluation report examines the implementation and impact of actions contained in the Blueprint. It also examines important education performance indicators to assess any changes in the magnitude of the gaps between rural and remote students and metropolitan students since the launch of the Blueprint. We collected a range of qualitative and quantiative data sources to evaluate the Blueprint including interviews, surveys and administrative data. This evaluation has found that:
Evaluator company/business: Victoria University, Centre for International Research on Education Systems
URL or PDF: Download the low socioeconomic status school communities Smarter Schools National Partnership - Evaluation of staffing, management and accountability initiatives final report (PDF, 1.38MB).
Summary: This report investigates the implementation, effectiveness and sustainability of initiatives within five reform areas of the low socioeconomic school communities National Partnership (Low-SES NP) dealing with school staffing, management and accountability. A key question for the evaluation is whether or not participation in the Low-SES NP has helped improve the education and life opportunities of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds through improvements in student outcomes. To examine this question, a range of analyses were undertaken using available data, including NAPLAN results. The analysis suggests that there has been some impact from the Low-SES NP and affirms some of the positive responses found in both principal and staff surveys on effects of the program, including in areas of student outcomes.
Authors: Alison Wallace, Benita Power, Lee Holloway, Chloe Harkness
Evaluator Company/Business: Urbis
URL or PDF: Download the External evaluation of the selected NPLN NSW Programs: Evaluation of Focus on Reading 3-6 final report (PDF, 1.5MB)
Summary: The evaluation aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Focus on Reading 3-6 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. Focus on Reading 3-6 was designed to provide professional learning support to classroom teachers in a school or community of schools. The main goals of the program were to increase teacher knowledge about how to develop fluent readers and to develop comprehension and vocabulary skills based on effective evidence-based practices. The evaluation methodology comprised a knowledge review, scoping of data sets, site visits, and stakeholder interviews and surveys. In both the quantitative and qualitative research, the great majority of teachers and school staff reported increased knowledge and skills in teaching reading. Gains in mean reading scores were also observed for all student cohorts at Focus on Reading 3-6 schools.
Principals have a substantial impact on student outcomes.
This audio paper outlines the research evidence on what makes an effective principal and the best ways to identify, develop and support aspiring school principals.
Read by Rachel Smith, CESE.
Read our full paper on Effective leadership.
Author: Andrew Goodall
URL or Pdf: Download the Connected Communities Strategy - Interim Evaluation Report (Pdf, 2.25MB)
Summary: This report presents findings about the implementation of the Connected Communities Strategy and early impacts on student indicators. The findings were informed by site visits to all 15 participating school communities, reviews of program documentation and analysis of administrative data. The findings indicate that there had been many positive changes at Connected Communities schools but that several key features of the Strategy were yet to be implemented according to the original intent. There was also minimal evidence of any improvements in student outcomes, although it was acknowledged that it was too early to draw conclusions about the impact of the Strategy in this area.
URL or PDF: Download Reading Recovery: a sector-wide analysis (PDF, 1.23MB).
Summary: The primary aims of this study were to examine the impact of Reading Recovery (RR) on students’ literacy outcomes at the end of Year 1 and whether any benefits associated with participating in RR are sustained over the longer term to Year 3. This evaluation was conducted state-wide across NSW government schools. It focussed on identifying the impact of RR on student outcomes compared to similar students who attended a school that did not offer RR. The study employed a quasi-experimental design drawing on retrospective data that detailed participation in RR and student outcomes in the early years of school. The results showed some evidence that RR has a modest short-term effect on reading skills among the lowest performing students. However, RR does not appear to be an effective intervention for students that begin Year 1 with more proficient literacy skills. In the longer-term, there was no evidence of any positive effects of RR on students’ reading performance in Year 3.
Does changing school matter? (PDF 1MB) explores student mobility in NSW government schools and the impact mobility has on student outcomes.
This evaluation (PDF, 1.8MB) examined the impact of Reading Recovery (RR) on students' outcomes in NSW government schools. The evaluation found some evidence that RR has a modest short-term effect on reading skills among the lowest performing students. However, RR does not appear to be an effective intervention for students that begin Year 1 with more proficient literacy skills. In the longer-term, there was no evidence of any positive effects of RR on students' reading performance in Year 3.
Related: Learning Curve 11 - Reading Recovery
Reading Recovery: A sector-wide analysis (PDF, 1MB) briefly describes the results of an evaluation examining the impact of Reading Recovery on students' outcomes in NSW government schools. You can also read the Reading Recovery evaluation.
Authors: Diane Amos, Susan Harriman, Barry Laing and John Hughes
Evaluator Company/Business: Policy, Planning and Reporting Unit, NSW Department of Education
URL or PDF: Download the Evaluation of Dymocks Children's Charities Book Bank program (PDF, 1.26MB)
Summary: Book Bank is an initiative of Dymocks Children’s Charities developed with the NSW Department of Education. The program provided students with the opportunity to select current, high quality books to read and keep, with ownership of books being a new experience for a number of students. The evaluation was commissioned to identify changes in student reading engagement and achievement that may result from involvement in the DCC Book Bank program. The evaluation involved a review of the program implementation, and an investigation of the impact of key elements of the program model. Across all sources of data (interviews, surveys, observations), the evaluation findings suggest that increased student engagement with books and reading was the most significant benefit of the Book Bank program.