Evaluation of the Connected Communities Strategy

A detailed evaluation of the Connected Communities Strategy will take place throughout 2023 in consultation with schools, stakeholders and communities.

The Connected Communities Strategy addresses the educational and social aspirations of all students, particularly Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people in 33 rural and remote schools across NSW.

Under the Strategy, schools act as a hub for service delivery and the formation of interagency linkages. The program is a whole-of-government commitment to working in partnership with the community. It celebrates Aboriginal culture while allowing schools to work with government and non-government groups to help support students. Go to Connected Communities for more details.

We want to hear from schools, stakeholders, and school communities in 2023

The Connected Communities Directorate, in partnership with the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE), is working collaboratively to conduct an independent evaluation of Connected Communities to better understand the delivery of the Strategy, including the experiences and insights of schools, stakeholders, divisional support and local school communities.

The evaluation will focus on Aboriginal voices

There will be a focus on the views, experiences and insights of Aboriginal internal and external stakeholders, including school staff, funded and unfunded community and government agencies and Aboriginal families and communities.

The evaluation’s findings will be used to inform future directions in policy, service planning and delivery to further enhance educational outcomes for all students with a focus on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students and learners.

More about the evaluation

Nathan Towney, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, Strategy and Leadership, Associate Professor James Ladwig and Monica McKenzie, Indigenous Evaluation Project Officer from the University of Newcastle, will be undertaking the evaluation. The evaluation will be co-managed internally by the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE)’s Evaluation and Effectiveness unit. The University of Newcastle will visit Connected Communities sites from February to November 2023. The team will contact schools in advance to arrange the visits before the end of Term 2. Participation in the evaluation is optional but strongly encouraged. It gives Connected Communities participants a chance to have their say.

The evaluation will not assess the performance of individual schools or organisations and schools will not be compared with each other. The evaluation will ask what works well and not so well and what could be done differently in the Connected Communities Strategy.

Consultations will be confidential and individual responses will not be identified. Only the researchers will hold knowledge of the interviews and discussion answers. The Connected Communities Directorate will only receive overall findings, including a sample of school case studies.

How we will share the evaluation’s findings with schools and communities

The University of Newcastle will make a return visit to Connected Communities sites to undertake a content validation consultation process on the findings with participants. Findings will be communicated back to communities using a range of appropriate and accessible mediums. The overall findings will also be published on the department’s webpage.

Need more information on the evaluation?

For help, you can email the Evaluation and Effectiveness team. Alternatively, you can email Maria Kevin or phone (02) 7814 1465.

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