Authors: Marita Merlene, Wendy Hodge, Kerry Hart, Alexandra Ellinson, Ofir Thaler
Evaluator company/business: ARTD Consultants
URL or PDF: Download the Evaluation of the 'Tell Them From Me' student survey trial (PDF, 1.14MB).
Summary: This formative evaluation provided insight and advice for the future implementation of student surveys. Mixed methods were used —surveys, case studies in five schools and semi-structured interviews. 172 secondary schools and 55 primary schools took part in the pilot online student survey and were approached to participate in the evaluation. The evaluation found that principals favoured the continuation of the student survey and the introduction of similar surveys for teachers and for parents.
Authors: Katrina Yu, Duncan Rintoul, Steven Hao, Ian Watkins, Wai-Yin Wan
Evaluator company/business: Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, NSW Department of Education
URL or PDF: Download the Evaluation of the NSW Clontarf Academies Program 2017 (PDF, 2MB)
Summary: This report presents the findings of CESE's evaluation of the Clontarf Academies program, which currently operates in 25 schools across NSW. The scope covers the 12 Academies established before 2016, with a focus on the seven established in 2012. This evaluation draws on administrative data on school attendance, retention, suspensions, NAPLAN participation, post-school outcomes and contact with the criminal justice system, as well as stakeholder interviews, site visits and a survey of Clontarf participants. The evaluation has three components: a process evaluation, an outcome evaluation and an economic evaluation.
This literature review provides the evidence base for the department’s anti-bullying strategy. Released in 2017, the NSW Anti-bullying Strategy brings together evidence-based resources and information to support schools, parents and carers, and students to prevent and respond to bullying effectively.
Bullying can be face-to-face, covert or online. It has three main features: it involves repeated actions, is intended to cause distress or harm, and is grounded in an imbalance of power.
In 2015, 14.8 per cent of Australian students reported being bullied at least a few times per month. Bullying peaks during the transition from primary school to high school, before decreasing to low levels by the end of high school. Boys tend to bully more than girls, however, girls use more covert bullying than boys.
Anti-bullying programs reduce bullying behaviours by an average of 20 – 23 per cent.
The most effective anti-bullying interventions:
• take a holistic, whole-school and whole-community approach, which includes promoting awareness of anti-bullying interventions
• include educational content in the classroom that allows students to develop social and emotional competencies, and to learn appropriate ways to respond to bullying – both as a student who experiences bullying and as a bystander
• provide support and sustainable professional development for school staff on how best to enhance understanding, skills and self-efficacy to address and prevent bullying behaviours
• ensure systematic implementation and evaluation.
There are Australian and international examples of whole-schools approaches that have the characteristics common to effective anti-bullying interventions and have been subjected to program evaluations. Australian examples are the National Safe Schools Framework, Positive Behaviour for Learning, Friendly Schools, KidsMatter and MindMatters. International examples are the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (Norway), Sheffield Anti-Bullying Project (England), Seville Anti-Bullying in School Project (Spain) and KiVa Anti-Bullying Program (Finland).
Schools need greater support to maximise the outcomes of anti-bullying interventions and to identify what is likely to be successful based on their specific contexts and requirements. There is very little available currently in the way of specific advice to guide schools in their choice of anti-bullying programs.
Visit the department's anti-bullying website.
To help share the evidence, Anti-bullying interventions is available as a summary poster (PDF, 1.4MB).
Bullying peaks during the transition from primary school to high school.
It decreases to low levels by the end of high school. Boys tend to bully more than girls, however, girls use more covert bullying than boys.
Anti-bullying programs reduce bullying behaviours by an average of 20-23%.
In 2017, the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) released a literature review on effective anti-bullying interventions in schools. This review became the evidence base for the NSW Department of Education’s Anti-bullying Strategy. This strategy brings together evidence-based resources and information to support schools, parents and carers, and students to prevent and respond to bullying effectively.
Bullying can be face-to-face, covert or online.
It has three main features:
• it involves repeated actions
• is intended to cause distress or harm, and
• is grounded in an imbalance of power.
The most effective anti-bullying interventions:
• take a holistic, whole-school and whole-community approach
• include educational content in the classroom that allows students to learn appropriate ways to respond to bullying
• provide support and sustainable professional development for school staff
• ensure systematic implementation and evaluation.
Authors: Meg Dione-Rodgers, Louise Taggart, Susan Harriman
Evaluator company/business: Quality Assurance Team, Policy, Planning and Reporting Unit, NSW Department of Education
URL or PDF: Download the report on the Teachers Health Fund - School Staff Health and Wellbeing Grants Program (PDF, 1.44MB)
Summary: The evaluation of the School Staff Health and Wellbeing Grants Program was commissioned to describe the implementation of the funding program in nine schools and identify the effects on staff health and wellbeing, students and the school community. The methodology included: document reviews; interviews with program managers; and analysis of school self-evaluation reports. The evaluation found that the program generally worked well, with staff participants reporting health and wellbeing benefits such as increased fitness and flexibility, greater social interaction and improved staff morale.
Tell Them From Me is an online survey system that assists schools to capture the views of students, teachers and parents. The following case studies highlight how a variety of government schools have used Tell Them From Me survey data to identify and make broad improvements to student engagement, wellbeing and teaching practices.
Macquarie Fields High School (PDF, 350kB) Using Tell Them From Me data as a starting point for consultation with the broader school community.
Northlakes High School (PDF, 1.4MB) Using Tell Them From Me data to identify issues and inform responses.
Berry Public School (PDF, 250kB) Using Tell Them From Me to capture student, teacher and parent voice and inform responses.
Fairvale High School (PDF, 960kB) Using Tell Them From Me to set targets for school improvement in the school plan.
Hammondville Public School (PDF, 250kB) Using Tell Them From Me to improve teaching practices.
Authors: John Henry, Peter Congdon, Tracey Frigo, Karen Buczynski and Denise Skidmore
Evaluator company/business: Cambridge Education
URL or PDF: Download the evaluation of the NSW government Safe Families program revised service delivery model - final report (PDF, 3.75MB)
Summary: Safe Families is an early intervention program involving a coordinated approach between NSW government agencies (Aboriginal Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Family and Community Services) and local communities to work together to tackle child sexual assault in five Aboriginal communities. Cambridge Education evaluated the Revised Service Delivery Model of the Safe Families program. The aim of the evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the coordinated interagency program for the prevention of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities. The methodology included a literature review; consultations with 148 key stakeholder agencies; a review of program progress reports for 2011-2012 and a survey of the memberships of Safe Families Groups and Panels. The evaluators identified key enabling factors, barriers and areas for improvement in the program and a set of five principles that reflect best practice in the development and implementation of child and young person sexual abuse prevention programs.
Authors: Susan Rudland, Lee Holloway, Daniel Collins and Diane Fase
Evaluator company/business: Urbis
URL or PDF: Download the Review of Bravehearts' 'Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure' (PDF, 1.24MB)
Summary: This report presents an evaluation of the Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure (DKSA) pilot program. DKSA is a 30-minute presentation designed to teach children aged between 5 and 8 years old protective behaviours in a fun, engaging and non-confrontational manner. The evaluation employed a mixed methodology, including the use of online surveys, telephone interviews and face-to-face discussions with school staff and parents. The authors concluded that DKSA was broadly aligned with current NSW DOE curriculum content and that it increased students’ knowledge and awareness of key child protection messages. The cost-effectiveness of DKSA, however, was noted to be a barrier to an upscaling of the program in its current form.
Student wellbeing is an important focus of the NSW Department of Education. The department’s strategic plan, the School Excellence Framework and the Wellbeing Framework all underpin the work undertaken in student wellbeing and school excellence. The CESE literature review on student wellbeing explores how student wellbeing is defined; the relationship between wellbeing, schools and outcomes; school elements in improving student wellbeing; and student wellbeing policies in Australia.
Wellbeing can be difficult to define because it has so many applications across a broad range of disciplines
The Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) synthesised the most common and relevant characteristics that appear in most definitions of wellbeing – namely positive affect; resilience; satisfaction with relationships and other dimensions of one’s life; and effective functioning and the maximising of one’s potential – and it produced the following definition of student wellbeing:
A sustainable state of positive mood and attitude, resilience and satisfaction with self, relationships and experiences at school1.
In education, wellbeing is important for two reasons
The first is the recognition that schooling should not just be about academic outcomes but that it is about wellbeing of the ‘whole child’, an approach highlighted in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. The second is that wellbeing is important because students who have higher levels of wellbeing are more likely: to have higher achievement outcomes at school and complete Year 12; better mental health; and a more pro-social, responsible lifestyle.
The literature consistently identifies a number of core elements that affect student wellbeing
These can be grouped broadly into the following:
• creating a safe environment
• ensuring connectedness
• engaging students in learning
• promoting social and emotional learning
• a whole school approach.
While these groupings have been distinguished for the purposes of outlining the evidence base related to student wellbeing, the categories are intrinsically interconnected and they should not necessarily be viewed as separate entities in and of themselves.
1 Australian Catholic University and Erebus International (2008) Scoping study into approaches to student wellbeing: Literature review. Report to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Canberra
To help share the evidence, Student wellbeing is available as a summary poster (PDF, 540kB).
CESE's literature review on student wellbeing explores how student wellbeing is defined; the relationship between wellbeing, schools and outcomes; school elements in improving student wellbeing; and student wellbeing policies in Australia.
Wellbeing at school is multi-faceted.
Key elements are:
• positive affect
• satisfaction with relationships and other dimensions of one's life, and
• effective functioning and the maximising of one's potential.
In education, wellbeing is important for two reasons.
• Schooling is not just about academic outcomes but about the wellbeing of the 'whole child'.
• Students who have higher levels of wellbeing are more likely to have higher achievement outcomes at school and complete Year 12; better mental health; and a more prosocial, responsible lifestyle.
Student engagement and wellbeing in NSW (PDF, 2MB) presents findings from a pilot study undertaken in 2013 which measured student engagement, wellbeing and quality teaching in a group of NSW government secondary schools.