New centre searching for school X-factor

The effective practices of our best public schools will be put under the microscope as part of a new research initiative.

A group of students with three adults in the centre.
Image: Model school: Deputy Premier Paul Toole and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell with Millthorpe Public School principal Penny Granger, centre, and school student leaders.

A new research centre led by three leading universities will begin work next year on unlocking the teaching excellence and potential of the best public schools in NSW.

The NSW Government has awarded the grant to run the new The Ambassador Schools Research Centre to a consortium of three universities, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University,

They will work with NSW Ambassador schools to explore the effective practices they use to lift student outcomes and how these schools can share their practices across the system.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said he was thrilled to know that Millthorpe Public School in his Bathurst electorate would provide effective teaching advice to educational professionals, not just for NSW educators but from around the world.

“Millthorpe might be a small village, but its school and teaching professionals are among the best in the State. This initiative recognises that and seeks to tap into Millthorpe’s success and how we can replicate it elsewhere,” Mr Toole said.

“This research will not just assist our future teaching practices in NSW but put us on the world stage, as knowledge from the Research Centre is shared with other education professionals.”

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said awarding the program to the UNSW-led consortium was an exciting milestone and would kick-start the research phase.

“Our Ambassador Schools are not just great schools they are excellent schools - they have an X-factor and we want to understand what the secret recipe is to their success,” Ms Mitchell said.

“This research will provide us with an understanding of how we spread this success across the State, helping teachers improve their classroom practices and lifting student outcomes.”

UNSW Professor Kim Beswick said the university was excited to get started on this transformative initiative.

“We are delighted to be leading the university consortium and working with the NSW Department of Education to support improved student learning outcomes,” Professor Beswick said.

The Ambassador Schools program is the first of its kind in Australia and a key initiative of the NSW Government’s School Success Model. Ambassador schools are diverse, covering primary and secondary, metropolitan and regional areas, and schools across a range of socio-economic contexts. The research will commence early next year.

Millthorpe Public School
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