Platform to help every student be known, valued and cared for

An online resource will help school leaders support one of the department’s goals in our strategic plan.

15 December 2020
Four students and an adult sit around a table with lego blocks.
Image: Field work: Students were asked to lend their voice in determining the most useful resources.

The strategic direction that every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools is now supported by a new online platform for teachers and school leaders.

Principals-in-residence Lisa Stipanovic and Peter Skinner joined Secretary Mark Scott on the Every Student Podcast to discuss their work around NSW Education’s priority that every student is known, valued and cared for.

The two school leaders have been working with school staff and students across NSW to identify evidence-based practices and initiatives that have the greatest impact on student outcomes.

“The role has enabled us as principals to gather learning from our colleagues and develop and scale solutions across our system,” Ms Stipanovic said.

“This has resulted in rich collegial and insightful approaches to influencing a system-wide improvement.”

Nine themes were previously identified as key elements that contribute to every student being known, valued and cared for in our schools, with strategies and resources under each theme included in the new online platform.

“We wanted to have significant programs and practices that were peer reviewed, they are initiatives that support wellbeing outcomes to students and schools tell us that these work for every student,” Ms Stipanovic said.

In determining what programs and strategies made the biggest difference, the principals visited more than 50 schools and worked closely with school leaders from different school contexts to validate whether programs would work across different school settings.

“We invited a number of consortiums of principals and school leaders to work with us over the past 18 months,” Mr Skinner said.

Following meetings with principals, the team set about seeking the views of students before determining which strategies would be included in the final resource.

“If you are talking about every student being known, valued and cared for, we have got to get their [students’] views in on this field of work as we know student voice and student participation is a large part of students being known, valued and cared for,” Mr Skinner said.

Mr Scott reflected that the phrase every student is known, valued and cared for was the “language in our strategic plan that gets quoted back at me more than any other”.

“It goes to the intrinsic work of staff in the department, it drives them and this is where we start to create that environment where a child is confident and a child is secure and can flourish,” Mr Scott said.

The online platform was launched last week and includes targets and outcomes for students as well as links to the School Excellence Framework and Wellbeing framework. School staff can learn more on the Every Student is known, valued and cared for platform (staff only).

Listen to the full episode now:

Read the transcript of Every Student Podcast: Peter Skinner and Lisa Stipanovic.

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