PRIORITY 3: HIGH EXPECTATIONS, HIGH PERFORMANCE

Photo of three high school students, 2 girls and a boy, at the Minister's Congress

Back to B.1 Organisational Overview

OUR MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

High expectations, explicit teaching, strong student engagement and ongoing assessment and feedback to students are key indicators of success in educational outcomes. This is being reinforced through the People, Practice and Performance Framework.

STUDENTS AT THE CENTRE

  • ACT students remain among the highest performing in Australia in the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). Students in the ACT performed strongly in NAPLAN reading, where the ACT has been the highest performing jurisdiction in Australia since 2008. The ACT has also ranked first or equal first in grammar and in punctuation across all year levels since 2009 and continues to achieve highly in numeracy.
  • In 2016 preliminary results show that while the ACT continues to perform strongly, other jurisdictions are closing the gap.
  • In 2015-16 all 87 ACT Public Schools were implementing the Gifted and Talented Students Policy 2014.
  • A total of 4,701 students (90.5%) met the requirements for an ACT Senior Secondary Certificate.
  • A total of 2,933 (62.3%) Senior Secondary Certificate recipients also achieved a Tertiary Entrance Statement (TES), having met the requirements for university entrance and an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
  • The 2015 Year 10 Excellence Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the High School Years recognised 70 year 10 students from ACT public high schools and colleges who distinguished themselves in areas such as academic excellence, perseverance, sportsmanship, artistic and musical ability, community involvement, integrity and leadership.
  • In 2015, an Expert Panel was commissioned to undertake a review of policy and practice in ACT schools for supporting and teaching students with complex needs and challenging behaviour. In November 2015, the Schools for All Children and Young People - report of the Expert Panel on Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviour was released. All 50 recommendations were accepted by the ACT Government.
  • In response to the recommendations in the report, the Directorate commenced a three year program of cultural change - the Schools for All Program. The Schools for All Program aims to continue our ambitious evidence-based and student-centred vision.
  • Contributed to the planning and development of the Child Development Service, and worked collaboratively with the Service to assist students to start school ready to learn.
  • The Directorate worked with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to support families of students with disability to engage with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • 1,333 (64%) potentially eligible students applied for the NDIS.
  • The Directorate assisted 52 year 12 students with a disability to apply for the NDIS WorkStart pilot- the NDIA found 46 of these students eligible to access additional funding to support their transition from education to employment.
  • Support with personal care at school and Special Needs Transport are provided by the Directorate as in-kind supports under the NDIS.

Photo of a primary school girl in her wheelchair

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDENTS

  • The provision of individual support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to personalise learning and increased pathway opportunities resulted in Year 12 completion rates increasing from 59 percent in 2014 to 69.6 percent in 2015.
  • The 2015 public school attendance result for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students was 85 percent, an improvement of 1.8 percent on the 2014 result of 84 percent.
  • Contributed to the implementation of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement through programs and strategies including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Secondary Scholarship Program, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarship Program, the Mura Awards and Flexible Learning Options.

NEEDS-BASED FUNDING

  • Significant progress continued to be made on implementing the new student needs based school funding model for public school, the model is the Student Resource Allocation (SRA).
  • Approximately 76 percent of the public school budget for the 2016 academic year was provided through the new Student Resource Allocation.

Photo of two high school students in lab coats, a boy and a girl, conducting a science experiment

OUR CHALLENGES

  • Continue to focus on differentiated teaching and learning to ensure the learning needs of all students are met.
  • Continue to influence inclusive culture in schools through the implementation of the recommendations from the Expert Panel on Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviour 2015 report Schools for All Children and Young People, so that cultural change is embedded in our schools and support systems.
  • Support schools to provide welcoming and inclusive learning environments that contribute to achieving more equitable education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
  • Further develop the Network Student Engagement Team model to best meet the needs of schools and their students.
  • Work effectively with schools to implement relevant elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2015-18.
  • Strengthen student achievement across the domains of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy.

OUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS

  • Develop systems to identify and respond early to students who are at risk of disengaging from learning, including developing a continuum of educational support that will provide a resource and reference for teachers, school leaders and families. Focus on the second stage of the Student Resource Allocation Program - the design and implementation of the new School Operational Allocation and the needs based loadings for students with English as an Additional Language or Dialect, ready for the 2017 school year.
  • Continue development of the needs based loading for students with disability, and supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, ready for implementation in 2018.
  • Early identification of students requiring support through an improved referral process and increased Network Student Engagement Team staff.
  • Embed strategies for improving student achievement.

FAST FACTS

 2014-152015-16Change % Change
Number of students enrolled in specialist schools 374 364 -10 -2.7%
Number of children attending Koori preschool programs 79 78 -1 -1.3%
Number of students enrolled in Introductory English Centres 227 218 -9 -4.0%
Number of international fee-paying students in ACT Public Schools1 588 643 55 9.4%
Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students participating in the Student Aspirations program 170 150 -20 11.7%
Number of school leavers completing the post-school destination survey 2,925 2,993 68 2.3%
Number of students completing the School Satisfaction Survey 13,748 14,326 578 4.2%

Note: 1. Refer to definition of International students in Section B.2 Performance Analysis.

GIVING A VOICE TO STUDENTS WHO CANNOT SPEAK

All students at Malkara Specialist School have limited language skills and many cannot speak at all. Through a voice output program called ProLoQuo2Go and a picture-based communication system called PODD, students are able to communicate. With these augmentative and alternative communication systems, talking is as simple as a touch of a button or pointing a finger. Across the whole school environment this technology is being utilised to give the students a voice.

In November 2015, the school won a national award from the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, for their outstanding commitment to ensuring that every student at Malkara Specialist School has a way of communicating their thoughts, ideas, and wants to others.

The award is a great honour for the school, eclipsed only by the joy of helping the students learn to communicate with others.

Photo of a teacher assisting a disability student to use an iPad.

FINDING YOUR PATHWAY

Students in ACT Public Schools are supported as they plan for their future. They are able to seek the advice of qualified Careers Advisers and also have access to the Pathway website. The website assists young people with their transitioning and career planning, with the support of their teachers, youth workers, community service case managers and other adults. It is designed to meet the developmental needs of young people and provide them with online interactive activities which allow them to reflect on who they are, identify their interests, set goals and practise decision making. There are three plans: the 5-6 Plan, Pathways Plan (7-10) and 11-12 Plan.

Students at Lake Tuggeranong College have a wide range of personalised pathways for their senior secondary experience. From the point of first contact in year 10, students engage with a Careers Adviser from the college before they make their subject selections. This information is assessed at the college as part of building the curriculum packages for each student enrolling in year 11. A team of Pathways Advisers then monitor students throughout their time at the college.

Pathways include those provided through the offering of particular types of courses (accredited, tertiary, vocational) as well as through the way a student’s package is constructed. An example of this might be that a student begins their vocational work whilst in year 10 at night classes and can complete the units of competency by the end of year 11. Year 12 can then be a significant industry placement as part of an Australian School-Based Apprenticeship (ASBA). A further example is the student who opts into the Australian National University Extension program and undertakes a course area at the university, whilst doing their remaining courses at Lake Tuggeranong.

Lake Tuggeranong College surveys all of its graduating students and analyses the extent to which each and every student has met their pathway goals. This forms the basis of ongoing improvements to practices in support of varied and successful student pathways.

Photo of a female college student sketching

Photo of a male college student with a remote-controlled aircraftPhoto of a male college student in the automotive workshop.

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