Cohort 8’s Final Workshop

On November 16th, Cohort 8 completed the 3 year Fogarty EDvance program. In their final workshop we celebrated their achievements with the presentation of change stories – ensuring each school was able to highlight and share their achievements over the course of the program.

Huge congratulations to Albany Primary School, Bridgetown High School, Champion Bay Senior High School, Geraldton Senior High School, Karratha Senior High School, Meadow Springs Primary School, Our Lady of Mercy Primary School, St Brigid’s School (Collie), St John’s School (Rangeway), St Mary’s School, South Padbury Primary School, Warnbro Community High School Education Support Centre and Yanchep Secondary College.

Overall, the 3 year program’s performance was highly rated and exceeded the expectations of participants. The weighted average rating stands at a promising 8.6/10, reflecting a positive and high-performing environment. 100% of attendees stated in the end of year survey that the program had made them a better leader, improved their teams leadership and made them more capable of developing other leaders.

It’s great to see positive feedback from school leaders who have participated in the program. Here are some key points highlighted in their feedback:

“We have a shared vision, a clear pathway for improvement in our teaching practices and commitment to our Moral Purpose.”

“Implementing change is such a difficult thing to do when faced with all the urgent day-to-day occurrences in a school, so having a clear plan helps our leadership team to remain focused and keep chipping away.”

“I feel my growth will continue to develop as we embed what I have learnt over the three years in to our school.”

“Learning how to be an effective leader. Understanding what needs to happen to make changes that ensure growth and success at our school.”

“Shared vision. Clear direction and goals. Unskilled leaders effectively to achieve change and best outcomes for our students.”

In the words of one respondent, a call to action reverberates: “Principals of schools not in this program – wake up. The accountability the program instills in your role is invaluable.” The success of Cohort 8 serves as an inspiration and a reminder of the transformative power of dedicated leadership in the pursuit of educational excellence.

Congratulations to all participants on this remarkable journey, and may the positive ripples of the Fogarty EDvance program continue to shape the future of education in our state.

On May 4, we had a very successful launch of Cohort 2’s Report Card, with much cause for celebration. There was an excellent attendance of Executive Directors from theDepartment of Education, Deans of Education from 3 of the 4 major teaching universities and the corporate community was well represented.

The Education Minister, Hon. Sue Ellery MLC, officially launched the Report Card and spoke generously about the importance of school leadership and the role that our leaders play in ensuring an excellent education system. She praised the Foundation and our Partners for the work that EDvance has undertaken, in particular acknowledging the efforts and successes of our school leadership teams in improving student outcomes for their students.

Photo 1: The Hon. Sue Ellery MLC – WA Minister for Education

Photo 2 (right to left): Hon. Sue Ellery MLC with secondary school principals – Bernadette, Everal, Stella, Mary, Hilary, Alen – Jeannette Gee (WASSEA), Annie and Ingrid

The Trends in Internat­ional Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), conducted every 4 years, measures student achievement in maths and science at Year 4 and Year 8 in Australia and many other countries. TIMSS assesses 630,000 students across 49 countries in Year 4 and in 39 countries in Year 8.

The recently released TIMSS results reveal little change in Australian students’ achievement since 1995.

These alarming results have sparked calls from education commentators for Australia to “wake up’’, reject short-term fixes, raise the effectiveness of teaching, and improve retention and training of qualified maths and science teachers. Further, Australia has had little success in closing equity gaps between students from indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds and lower and higher socio-economic backgrounds.

During this same period (1995-2015), other high-performing countries such as Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and Japan have made steady improvements. Other countries including Canada, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the US and Kazakhstan have improved and now outperform Australia.

TIMSS shows that Australian Year 4 students are significantly outperformed by students in 21 countries in mathematics and 17 countries in science. Year 8 students are outperformed by those in 12 countries in mathematics and 14 in science.

Commentators say that this is a national challenge that requires a national response. We need Australia to take urgent action to access this decline in academic outcomes and the answer is not to just do more of the same.

EDvance program results show that educational inequality CAN be addressed at a whole school and a state wide level.

Fogarty EDvance is a 3 year whole school improvement program for school leaders in disadvantaged communities. The program works with school executive teams to help them transform student outcomes in their schools by providing them with best practice tools and research, rich data sets, ex-principal mentors and peer support. Over the 3 years schools turn theory into action by designing and implementing strategies that fit their unique school context.

We believe that by improving the quality of leadership in schools we can enable high quality teaching, enhance parent and community support for the school and achieve our fundamental aim: an Australia where all children, regardless of background, attain an excellent education.