Transcript of live stream launch


SHARON FORD:

Good morning, colleagues. Welcome back to Term 3. It is such a privilege to be able to share part of your School Development Day with you, as we, some of your colleagues across the department, take you through an overview of School Excellence in Action, our new school excellence, our new school planning cycle, and we get you ready for the development of your Strategic Improvement Plan for next year. I really want to say to you that as teachers, we have planning in our DNA. We plan for our students, we plan together in faculty and stage groups and we plan together to develop our school plans. That’s something that’s really part of what we do naturally in the course of our work - and we’ve been planning for today and our time with you for some time too, for over 12 months, in fact. In that time we’ve been in and out of schools, we’ve been talking to teachers and school leaders about what they like about our current school planning cycle and approach and what they think we need to change and improve and clarify. I’m going to hand over to our range of special guests today and they’re going to spend some time taking you through some of the resources we’ve developed, giving you a little view of the website which will go live as soon as we’ve finished the livestream this morning, and we’ll show you some of the things we’ve done to support you as you spend the next three Terms developing your new Strategic Improvement Plan.

MARK SCOTT:

Good morning, and welcome to the School Development Day and Term 3. We are at Fort Street Public School in Sydney, and wherever you are, we want to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet. We are meeting on Gadigal land and we want to pay respects to elders past, present and emerging. We've got a terrific panel to talk with you today about School Excellence but before we do, I thought I might just spend a moment addressing the microscopic intruder in our lives today – COVID-19, – and discuss where we are start of Term 3. Fundamentally, the guidelines for the operations of our schools are the same as operated for the second half of Term 2. So the advice from the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee) and NSW Health is that our schools are safe to operate, and we are creating an environment where we are encouraging all students to attend school. We know that there have been issues in Victoria and that there are issues affecting the operations of schools in border states around the New South Wales (NSW) / Victorian border and that there have been some other communities that have had precedents or impact of COVID-19 in recent weeks. But our advice is that schools are safe to operate and open. We would encourage you to keep following the health guidelines that have been set down for the safe operations of our schools. We have been communicating with school principals around the guidelines to operate schools under COVID-19 and they will be communicating the information back to you and I know that you will all be closely following the health advice this week and in weeks to come as we look to make our schools a safe and healthy place for our school staff, our school students, and we can have a great term of learning ahead. I know it has been a remarkable and unprecedented year, and I want to thank you all for the great work – and your great work, commitment to learning, and your commitment to making our schools safe and healthy places for our students and all our school staff. So thanks again for your great commitment in the first half of the year. I hope everyone got a bit of a break between Terms 2 and 3 and I hope we are all ready for a great term of learning ahead.

I want to talk a bit about School Excellence. Today we are joined by the Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell, and our Deputy Secretary’s for School Performance, Murat Dizdar and Cathy Brennan. This is a great opportunity to talk about the work that's been taking place. To think through how we can create an environment where our schools can flourish and where our students can learn and where we're all committed to a process of school improvement. So that's what we're talking about today. But first to welcome you all and to set us up for our discussion this morning I am delighted to welcome the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, Sarah Mitchell.

SARAH MITCHELL:

Thank you Mark. Good morning everybody. I too would like to acknowledge country and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to any Aboriginal colleagues joining us this morning. And a big thank you also to Michele Peel-Yates and her team here at Fort Street Public School. It's great to be able to start the term addressing you all this morning. I think I last had the opportunity to speak to you at the beginning of Term 2 when we were fully launched into learning from home, as Mark said, and I think it is really important for me to acknowledge this morning that you have managed significant complexities in our school communities since then and I do just want to thank each and every one of you for the work you have done during Term 2, focusing on your students, making sure that we keep focusing on teaching and learning in our schools at a time when I'm sure when you look back during your career will be one of the most challenging. I hope you had a restful break and that we're ready to go for Term 3 because here we are; start of Term 3 and the beginning of semester 2, back to face-to-face learning, adapting very quickly as we continue to respond as Mark said to these challenging times. You’ve done excellent work keeping your communities safe, looking out for your students, your colleagues, your parents and families as well. It has been a challenging time and I do think it is important that we acknowledge your resilience and flexibility.

But of course, on to school excellence, which is why we're here and I am so thrilled to be part of this launch of School Excellence in Action. This is part of the new planning cycle for all schools in NSW. We have invited all school staff to be here, and there's a very important reason for this – because as you would all know, all staff - principals, executives, our teachers our administration and all support staff, all of you are very important to work together to improve the learning and wellbeing outcomes for all of our students in each and every one of our schools. All of you are the face of public education in your local community. You are the ones who do the daily work of teaching and learning and personally every day you interact with parents and our carers. That genuine community engagement is a really critical factor for improving progress, achievement and wellbeing for your students. So I would like to thank all of you who are on the frontline, particularly the staff in our school offices and on the ground in our schools, who are the helpful voices on the other end of the phone, you are the ones who do so much to support teaching staff. Our parents and carers know and trust you to be part of the lives of their children. That is something I see not just as the Minister but as a parent in my involvement with our local school as well.

It is really important that school improvement touches every classroom, to be the work of every teacher and to impact every student. I know that Mark is going to talk more about the pivotal role that you, our teachers, play in improving student outcomes. Thank you for the work you do for our students in NSW and thank you in advance for the engagement that I know you will all have in the School Excellence in Action. We can't improve such a large and diverse school system as we have in NSW without you all being involved in the school improvement journey and I think this is a really exciting time for education in NSW.

I know that Murat Dizdar and Cathy are going to unpack this a little bit more throughout this morning’s livestream but I am really excited about the situational analysis part of the school excellent cycle that you're about to start because I think it is important to pause and take time to ask where we are and where we want to be. Through that process of looking inward, looking outward and looking forward, a situational analysis answers the questions - where are we now? - where do we want to be? – and how good can we be? I really want to encourage each and every one of you to be involved in this phase over the coming two terms. I encourage you to be deeply engaged with the process so that together we can develop the best Strategic Improvement Plan, so we can improve the learning and wellbeing outcomes for every single student in your school. We can't do this well without your views and your feedback and I would strongly encourage everybody to be as involved as possible throughout this process.

Mark, can I finish by saying that we have certainly endured a more challenging 2020 than any of us could have predicted. Starting with bushfires, we have had the floods, and now of course the pandemic of COVID-19. But throughout all of this, schools have continued to keep our kids learning. You are on the frontline every day and you have the most important job, which is the education of our children, and I am so excited to continue working with you over this term and over the second half of this year to make sure that we can make our system continue to be one of the best education systems in the world. Thank you to all of you and all the best for the rest of the term and the rest of 2020.

MARK SCOTT:

Thanks Minister, and thanks again to our staff for the remarkable work they have done this year. That preparation to move to learning from home, the great work done in keeping students committed and engaged with the school system and learning during the second half of Term 1 and during Term 2. And then that great work that took place to build confidence and bring our students back and to have classroom learning in the second half of Term 2 - and of course uncertainty and challenges continue. As we think about the school excellence work we are doing now, we're going to talk a little bit more about how it impacts students and teachers and the broader school community. If we start with students, I think the evidence of this year makes it very clear that we are preparing students for a complex, challenging and fast-changing world. We already knew that globalisation and technology was going to change the world that young people would inherit and move into and join the workforce in and lead. But if you add to it the uncertainty of COVID-19, what COVID-19 has meant to the economy and what COVID-19 has meant to the way that we operate as part of a global community, we can see that to prepare young people and to help them be ready to take on whatever challenges they might face will be particularly important. This of course is underpinned in our strategic plan that we released a couple of years ago, but is more relevant than ever. This commitment that every student, every teacher, every leader and every school will improve every year. A commitment that every student in our school is known, valued and cared for. A commitment that every student is engaged and challenged to continue learning, and that we are helping people become lifelong learners in the NSW education system. That all young people will have a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy, that they’ll have deep content knowledge and the confidence in their ability to learn, adapt and to be responsible citizens. This commitment to students, to young people, to set them up to be independent and lifelong learners is the absolute foundation of the work that we have in the NSW education system and it is reinforced by that view and commitment that we have that there are really only two kinds of jobs in the department; those like the teachers in our schools who are helping students learn each year, and then there is the rest of us who are helping you help students learn, to become independent learners, to become confident learners and be fully equipped for all the challenges that life will throw at them in the years ahead. So as we start a new planning cycle, our commitment to students and their improvement and the excellence of our school system is absolutely fundamental to the work that we do.

Central to creating an environment where students are improving every year is teacher quality. We know this from the research, from the work of John Hattie and others. There is no more important thing that we can do for the students in our classrooms, is to ensure that we have the very best teachers, and teachers who are committed in their professionalism to continuing to improve. Teacher quality, that is the work that you do every day, is the biggest determinant of students' progress and achievement. That is closely followed by effective school leadership. So every teacher is critical to ensuring school improvement. We know that great teachers don't just happen – they are developed and they keep on developing through their professional lives. A key to that is effective collaboration – the work that you do together to hone your craft, to develop your skills, to learn from each other. That is absolutely critical in creating an environment of school improvement and when developing your Strategic Improvement Plan, you will undoubtably find professional learning in your school will be targeted and relevant to enable the greatest impact of every teacher on the progress and achievement of every student. A commitment to teacher quality and teacher improvement is central to the work that we are doing now. Also very important to this work is collaboration. We see School Excellence in Action as an example of collaboration and we have learnt a lot through the last six years of school planning and also on the work that you've been doing on a daily basis. Now we are transitioning to a new school excellent cycle for 2021 and this has been planned for some time and we have developed a new approach and collaboration with the broad educational community. At this point, I really want to thank all who have been partners with us, to learn from the previous planning cycles, and then to help us hone and improve the process that we're rolling out now. We have had many teachers and principals who have given us feedback. We have worked with Directors, Educational Leadership and Principals, School Leadership. Our great partners at the Primary Principals Association, and the Secondary Principals Council, the NSW Teachers Federation, have all been great partners as we’ve looked at how we work together to create an environment of school improvement and how we can learn from previous planning cycles. We have had our own teams across the department who’ve been greatly involved in this work as well. And we recognise for this work to be most effective, we need to reach out and engage with the community as well. A great plan relies on community engagement and I think one of the things we've learnt this year is that partnership between the home and the school is a key ingredient to student improvement, student learning and highly effective learning organisations in schools. As you develop your great plan, we want you to engage with your community and consider the views and feedback of the community as a whole and to reflect on that as well.


Again, I want to thank you for being involved in this school excellence approach, this commitment to improvement, this commitment to teaching of the highest quality in every classroom, this commitment to great school leadership and to engaging the school community, so we have excellence for our children to ensure they are in the best possible position to flourish, given the uncertainty of the world ahead. I will now ask Murat Dizdar and Cathy Brennan to draw out for you a bit more of the detail of School Excellence in Action and what it will mean for us, and the kind of thinking you’ll want to be engaged in as you develop your own schools’ improvement plan. So Murat, over to you.

MURAT DIZDAR:

Thanks, Mark, thanks Minister. Good morning colleagues across New South Wales. Fantastic to join you on day one of School Development Day. Cathy Brennan and I, as your deputy secretaries, are really excited to be able to engage with you and unpack some of the details of our work around School Excellence in Action. A great callout for the enormous dedication of the profession. We shouldn't forget the bushfires, the ongoing drought, the floods, the complex world of COVID-19. But the remarkable work of the profession to ensure ongoing education continuity right across the state of New South Wales so our children are very well catered for and looked after. I have two young children at home, very excited, already in uniform, looking forward to going to school tomorrow and I know Brian Dillon and the team at Drummoyne Public will take great care of them.

School Excellence in Action goes to the core of our DNA as educators. We get up each morning, in fact, many of us have been inside the school gates during the term break here, and I want to recognise our year 12 teachers who have been hard at it, providing extra lessons, extra catch up work, catering for our year 12 students really assiduously over that term break, to make sure they are well positioned in a complex time so they can attack the HSC as best as possible. But School Excellence in Action goes to the core of our business. We wake up each morning as teachers, as leaders, as non-teaching staff in our schools, because we want to make a difference, we want to move our students forward. This is a top opportunity for each and every public school across the state to really reflect, like the minister said, where we're at and where we could be, and hone in on those areas of our school that we want to make a difference to. If we do this well, we're going to be strategic and targeted in our work. We are going to really respect the profession. One of the standards is that the teacher, the teacher knows their students, and knows what has impact for their learning. So we really need to respect the teacher voice, bring it on board, and that’s why we are going out early – three terms of preparation to make sure we have got a strong Strategic Improvement Plan that is embraced by the school community to drive us forward. My colleague, Cathy Brennan, is going to unpack for is what is changing, and what will stay the same in School Excellence in Action and then I’m going to dive back in and unpack a little bit of the situational analysis and the support we have got in place for our schools.

CATHY BRENNAN:

Thank you Murat. As Mark said, this work is building very strongly on the excellent practice we have already seen in our schools. The evidence informed changes that schools have undertaken, that you’ve undertaken, to improve the outcomes for our students. So really, what we want to focus on is the where to next? Building on those past good practices, and really looking at what the feedback has told us about what would make a difference in the school planning cycle. Firstly, what’s not changing? What’s not changing is that we have our School Excellence Framework and it provides us with the clear evidence around what excellence looks like in every one of our schools. You will continue with your School Excellence Framework self-assessment each year, informing the decisions you’re making, alongside the information you receive from the external validation process. So we continue with that strong excellence approach. We continue with our focus on improving our student outcomes, based on the evidence and you do that so well, looking at the evidence to inform decision-making. That has always been at the heart of what our teachers do, and will continue to do so. We keep the improvement measures. In the language of our teachers, we are always looking for improvement for our students, and in our school leaders; improvement for our schools. So our improvement measures give us that long outlook to where we want to be as we seek to improve. We will also make sure we have a simpler template for you. So based on the feedback, we knew we needed to simplify the process to best capture the language teachers use every day in their [drive for] improvement for our students. We have the tangible things we want to achieve, that we want to observe in our classrooms every day and that we want to see within our schools and across our schools. We’re also looking at making sure there is clear evidence around the success criteria. Again, the language of our teachers every day – what is it we are looking to see that is going to make the difference in our students' learning outcomes?

I would like to now look at what is changing. We have had six years with the current school planning cycle and that’s given us a lot of information, in addition to a real focus, as Mark indicated with the collaboration over the last 12 months, feedback that has let us know that we need to be clearer in that school planning cycle. So Murat, I think it's important to say, upfront, we know we want to build on what has worked well in our schools. We do have evidence of incredible impact as a result of that clear focus and rigour that our school leaders and teachers have been bringing to our schools. But we want to be more coherent, we want to be simpler in bringing a focus to, what is it that needs now to improve for our students? The other critical aspect that is a change is that we're looking at more time, more time for the planning process. So we have the next semester, terms three and four of this year, and leading into Term 1 of next year, to ensure you are given the time that is appropriate to really understand where your schools are at and where to next for the school improvement trajectory. So, we will be best able to achieve that when we look at that alignment of a four-year school planning cycle, a strategic improvements cycle, alongside a four-year School Excellence and external validation cycle.


So Murat, I know we’ve spoken about getting lost in the 5P's, trying to navigate what is the difference between a product and a process, and we have really had that detracting from the focus sometimes, I think, of what it is we see as critical to school improvement. So, certainly, the template is much simpler. It's a conscious choice that we are looking at a Strategic Improvement Plan. The careful decision-making, based on the evidence, drawing upon what you know works best, what the evidence tells us works best, and really fine tuning that into a planning cycle that gives you a clear understanding about your contribution as a teacher and as a school leader, to the improvements we want to see in student attainment and in student well-being. You have the system-negotiated targets that our Directors, Educational Leadership worked with our school leaders last year to put in place and also your school determined targets, that will come from the situational analysis. So, more focus and more rigour on what it is that needs to improve for our students. So it is an important change. The insights you will gain from both the situational analysis and external validation will bring real clarity to the work that you’re going to focus on. We have easier planning templates, greater resources, more support and supportive software that’s really going to make the process simpler, whilst you give attention to what it is that needs to improve. Our Principals School Leadership have been working over the last term to really develop their understanding of the Strategic Improvement Plan, and our DELs will take that leadership role over the terms coming up to build the capacity for us. But Murat, I think we need to come back to the situational analysis, or the ‘stocktake’ as Minister Mitchell refers to it as, I know we are both keen for that to be front and centre of the work over the next two terms.

MURAT DIZDAR:

Thanks Cathy. Let's unpack the situational analysis a little bit. Our teachers, 65,000 across the state, are experts on a daily basis at taking stock of what has worked in a lesson, what has worked across lessons in a day, in a week, in a term. We need to galvanise that expertise and utilise that expertise; the teacher voice, leadership voice, in taking stock of where our entire school is at, in having a discernible difference to the entire student body by way of outcomes. We’re encouraging you, Cathy and I, to use Term 3 and 4, to undertake this stocktake in a very thorough manner. Many of you were National Partnership low SES sites, some six years ago, you’re really well front-footed to utilise a very similar process because in great detail, those National Partnership sites took stock and looked at internal data and external data, teacher voice, community voice and student voice, about what was working in that school. And that is what Sharon Ford and the team in Leadership and High-Performance have worked on for you. A template, a powerful process, a simplified process, using SCOUT functionality, for you to look as a team, a school team, to look inward, look outward, and look forward.

If we're looking inward, we need to look at all data points. We’ve certainly got great data points externally with SCOUT, but every teacher has data points internally in their classrooms, we’ve got it across stages and year groups, across our entire school. We need to get the views and feedback of our staff, our students, our parents and carers, and we’ve got to respect our professional judgement, as the profession, knowing what has worked and what could be better. If we are looking outwards, we want to make sure, like Cathy referenced, that we're looking at our strategic targets as a system, our school-based targets, we’re really honing in on the infrastructure we have in play – the School Excellence Framework. None of us [disagree that] leading, learning and teaching and the 14 elements that go with that, have impact. Let's leverage that research piece and look for the effective strategies that have impact on our young people. Many of you are really powerful in your collaboration across networks. Let’s galvanise and use that opportunity in this situation analysis to really take heed of where we're at.

If we're going to look forward, we have to get better at stopping inside the school gates what doesn't work. Not many of us let go of too much, we're not great at decommissioning, we are great at adding on, let's let go of the stuff that is not having [an] impact, and let's have a debate and discussion inside the school gates as we look at consolidating what does work, in our context, for our students.

Let me also go to what we are releasing today and how we're going to support you in this endeavour. Live right now is a one-stop website presence that takes you to School Excellence in Action. Many of you have told me repeatedly that it can be difficult to wrangle down all aspects of the department, well, we have put it on one website for you, we have brought it all together. The School Excellence Framework sits there, the What Works Best material that’s been updated into how we can unpack it inside the school gates, the situational analysis and all aspects of implementing the Strategic Improvement Plan. All there, along with samples from real schools we have worked with, instructional videos that will help you and I know many of you will engage today, on School Development Day, around this body of work for continuous improvement. We’re under scoring all of this that teachers, leaders support staff need to use these resources that we have worked painstakingly with the profession to develop. A big shout out to the NSW Teachers Federation, NSW Primary Principals Association, NSW Secondary Principals Council, NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, who have worked with us to give us feedback along the way to make sure it hits the mark for you. Let me hand back to Mark as we wrap up and go to some questions.

MARK SCOTT:

I think one of the things we have learned through the feedback is to give you time – give you time to think, time to reflect and do that situational analysis that Murat has outlined so you can come up with a strategy and a plan that will really be a living document for you and your school community. It will be a document that helps your decision-making, helps your prioritisation, helps you determine how to spend your budget, helps there to be that collective efficacy that we know is so important in bringing about a lift in teacher quality, strong leadership and improvement in teaching and learning outcomes for young people. So we would encourage you to start that planning work now, to use the three terms we have set aside, to really lock this in place for 2021 and the work that goes beyond. We’re looking forward, Cathy, Murat and I, are looking forward to being out and about in schools to learn about your progress on this journey, to learn about the stocktake and what you are thinking you need to focus on and prioritise in order to make this plan a living and breathing document that will really shape the actions and decision-making of your school to see the improvement that we all want to see. Murat, just summarise for us where we are, and then we will go to the questions that have come in.

MURAT DIZDAR:

We are going to shoot an email out straight after this that will take you to the new information hub. The new information hub has sample plans from real schools we have worked with, has our instructional videos that you can use with your entire school community, and the support material. We are really proud of this support material that we have leveraged the expertise across the organisation, and put them in chapters for you to use with your staff around what works for literacy and numeracy, for wellbeing, for those students that we serve from low socio-economic backgrounds, for our EALD students, our Aboriginal students, our students with disability or additional learning needs, our high potential and gifted students and our students in schools for specific purposes. Great resources with great expertise in this department that has come together for you to leverage from and I know that many of you will take the opportunity today to unpack this material. Let's go to some questions.

MARK SCOTT:

My favourite part of the live stream, it’s question time, and best of all I get to ask the questions and Murat and Cathy are across the details. So let's go to some of the issues that you've already raised. There have been a few questions about how external validation will work in the new four-year cycle. Melissa Johnson from Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, she is the principal there, she has asked about planning and EV being on the same four-year cycle, and how do we start a new plan from EV? So how's this going to work, the meshing up of those [cycles]?

MURAT DIZDAR:

Hi Melissa, thanks to you and your staff for joining us. Later this week we are going to email all of our principals and let them know when they're scheduled across the next four years for external validation. We are going to release the entire four years so you can plan properly. So a school who might have their EV in 2022 will piggyback off the EV to revisit and revamp their Strategic Improvement Plan and make it a 2023, across four years, a new, revised plan from then on. We have taken the feedback, and the feedback has been that external validation is really powerful and we want to piggyback off that and revisit and come up with a new four-year plan from there. From this week onwards, you’ll have those details and you can go into planning mode with your school community.

MARK SCOTT:

A question from Cassie Norris, the Principle of Ryde Secondary College for your Cathy. It is about planning and budgets. One of the challenging exercises in planning is assigning dollar values to programs which span several projects and priorities as well as special initiatives. Will special initiatives be retained and what will be the expectations about financial allocations to the different projects?

CATHY BRENNAN:

Thank you Mark, and thank you Cassie, another one of our great schools in Ryde Secondary College. As you would know, Strategic Improvement Plan, budgeting and resourcing are all connected and your Strategic Improvement Plan will have two parts. It will have the Strategic Improvement Plan that is published, and then the internal working document, which is the implementation and monitoring component. So you will continue to have that flexibility, to make the evidence-informed decisions around where your resources are best placed to be allocated, and that you will make sure that those resources are supporting the immediate activities for the school improvement. Through the implementation and the progress monitoring, you will be using SPaRO, the School Planning and Reporting Online, and the software has been improved to make that a more seamless process for every one of our schools. On SPaRO, you will allocate the resourcing that is best going to support those activities in your Strategic Improvement Plan. You will be able to monitor the expenditure of that resourcing, and the best thing is that SPaRO will calculate for you how you are going in that spending and the balances that are remaining as you continue to look at the improvement measures for the four year period, but particularly the improvement measures for each year as you are monitoring and tracking your budget. So I'm sure you'll find that the upgrades to SPaRO, the improved functionality, will really support you to allocate the funds as you see in terms of the initiatives and particular activities that are going to support your school's Strategic Improvement Plan.

MARK SCOTT:

A question about replacing the Leading and Managing the School document from Matt Johnson at Glenvale SSP, and also Twitter. We follow you on Twitter, Matt. Question for you Murat. Will the replacement for the Leading and Managing the School document be available soon to link with the new strategic planning?

MURAT DIZDAR:

Thanks for joining us Matt. We're flagging another live stream where we're going to talk about this particular topic as well. We are replacing Leading and Managing the School with a School Leadership policy. It has been a couple of years that we have got our School Leadership Institute up and running, great work from Joanne Jarvis and the team. In a live stream we are forecasting for about Week 4 of this term, we’re going to talk to the School Leadership policy being embracing and covering our entire school leadership strategy, and talk to our Deputy Principal role statement that we're going to release, and our enhanced principal role statement as well. You will see an email from Cathy and I for that livestream, in about week four, when we unearth the new School Leadership policy and the associated work with it.

MARK SCOTT:

Thanks Murat. One of the key issues in the way we are approaching this is engagement with community consultation. We have had a number of questions through on that. One from Tony Gad and he’s asked about the role of the AECG. What do schools do when their school communities have been at times perhaps reluctant to engage in school planning, perhaps preferring to leave it to the educators, as experts? How do we make our decision-making transparent and what are our keys to engaging with the school community?

MURAT DIZDAR:

Great question, Tony. I know Tony and our staff right across the state would respect, and we're really proud of, the fact that we have a partnership agreement with the NSW AECG, and I know Mark, you are looking forward to signing it as the secretary for the upcoming decade, as it runs out in 2020. We have been working with Cindy Berwick and the team on that as well. We want you to reach out and embrace the AECG and get their views and input into our Strategic Improvement Plan. We want you to embrace the entire school community. We know that those improvement plans that resonate in a school context have teacher voice, have student voice, have leadership voice and community voice. We have got a long way to go to get Aboriginal outcomes right in our school context right across the state. It would be very remiss of us not to engage with the AECG. Sometimes that can be more difficult than in other locations, where the AECG might not be locally strongly established, but I know that Cindy and the team stand with us to help support us on those school sites as well. So please reach out to your director, like Tony, in those instances, if you find engagement difficult. I know that Cindy and the team are keen to work with us across the state to engage in real meaningful dialogue around the Strategic Improvement Plan for each school context.

MARK SCOTT:

I can only reinforce that Murat. I had a meeting last week with the Premier and she was asking specific questions about the work we are doing to ensure we are increasing the rate of students who are completing year 12 and getting an HSC. We know the only way we're going to be able to deliver a big, important target like that is to work closely with the community and our partners at the AECG need to be a central part of that planning and the execution of that work. Cathy, we have a couple of similar questions from PSLs and principals about how professional learning for the new Strategic Improvement Plan will be delivered to schools. One’s from Anne-Marie Gill who’s asking how about this will work with the LEED project, and will schools involved in the LEED program still access all the professional learning for the Strategic Improvement Plan?

CATHY BRENNAN:

Thanks Mark. I love these questions. They're really critical to us to us to really understand how we are going to make sure that you’re best supported as you develop your Strategic Improvement Plan. I'm really confident and excited by the partnership that our DELs and our PSLs will take to lead the improvement plan professional learning. I'm also conscious that we have our LEED project, the Leading Evaluation, Evidence and Data project, and they sit alongside each other beautifully. The professional learning will be led by our DELs and they will be working with our principals, negotiating the best ways and the best times to undertake that, remembering as I said earlier that we have two terms, Terms 3 and 4, in which to really work through that learning. We have five bites of professional learning that break down the elements of the Strategic Improvement Plan to make sure we’ve addressed clearly the learning that needs to be undertaken, understanding the framework, understanding the situational analysis and the community consultation, and then moving into the implementation of the Strategic Improvement Plan. There are about 470 schools across the state who will be participating in the LEED project and whilst all of our school leaders will participate in the professional learning for the Strategic Improvement Plan, those 470 schools will have that extra learning that is really focusing on the improved approach to understanding the data and making the decisions, and it is an absolutely complementary professional learning. Our DELs will then work with all of our principals across the network as they undertake the professional learning for LEED and share what that learning means for all of our schools. Great work ahead, and the DEL, LEED and PSL partnership will position all of our schools really strongly for a successful plan.

MARK SCOTT:

Now we're just about out of time. Murat, really quick answers to these two questions, because everyone has got to get on with their professional learning that is taking place in schools, including Michele and the team here at Fort Street Public School. This is not just for principals, is it? It is for all teachers in schools. Where are they going to find more information about this?

MURAT DIZDAR:

We have been collecting questions through sli.do, so what we’ll do through our Leadership and High Performance directorate, we will make sure we answer all the questions that come through and put it up on our website as well as frequently asked questions that we provide answers to, so it's a one stop shop that you can go to. We want to reinforce that we want to involve every teacher in this process. We want the Strategic Improvement Plan to resonate with every single classroom. No-one in this system has the luxury to be a classroom teacher. We want everyone to be a school teacher that is focused on their classroom for impact for young learners, but can see beyond the classroom for impact for the school. If we're going to do that well, we're not going to beaver away on the Strategic Improvement Plan as a leadership team only. We are going to involve teacher voice, we're going to respect the profession, take into account their professional judgements, take into account student voice and community voice, and make this a living, breathing blueprint for improvement for our school community that I know Michele here will do at Fort Street Public School, and our leaders right across the state will do.

MARK SCOTT:

So, we are committed to improvement. We are committed to the improvement of every teacher, every student, every leader, every school. We want improvement to be a hallmark of all the work that we do. That is why people like Sharon Ford and others have led the consultation work around this new blueprint, this new Strategic Improvement Plan. And on this, the first day of Term 3 in the second half of the year, we wanted to give you some insight into what the future months will look like as your schools deeply engage with the specific challenges you face in your own context and you work on your strategy to ensure continued and sustained improvement for every student, every young person in your care. Thanks to the team here at Fort Street Public School for hosting us today. We hope you have a great School Development Day ahead and an exciting and rewarding and fulfilling Term 3. Stay safe, stay well, and continue to do great work. Thanks for your time this morning.

FEMALE VOICEOVER:

Schools are dynamic communities and everyone working in them is best placed to determine how to meet the needs of their students. School improvement is at the heart of what we do. It's a continuous process centred on supporting the growth and achievement of every student in every classroom. With the current school planning and external validation cycle concluding in 2020, we have a great opportunity to align the components of the School Excellence cycle to better support all NSW public schools on their improvement journey. That's why we've been working with schools to develop the strategic improvement planning process, ensuring all schools have the right tools and support to build a brighter future for all students. The strategic improvement planning process helps schools identify and talk about what's going well and what they can do even better.

Each school's Strategic Improvement Plan is a great way for leaders, teachers and support staff to come together with the entire school community and develop a coherent and reflective school plan. With this plan we can ensure that every student, every teacher, every leader and every school improves every year.


Visit the NSW Education website and search ‘School Excellence’ to find out more.

Return to top of page Back to top