Inquiry report – ParentsNext: Examination of Social Security (Parenting payment participation requirements–class of persons) Instrument 2021

Education, Families and parenting, Report, Inquiry, Legislative Framework, Report

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has released the report of its inquiry into the Social Security (Parenting payment participation requirements–class of persons) Instrument 2021. The Committee found that mandatory participation in ParentsNext, which can result in the suspension or cancelation of a parent’s social security payment, limits the rights of the child, and recommends that the program be made voluntary.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has developed Knowing Growing Showing; a resource that supports teachers to engage students in financial literacy by connecting with and building upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and community values, world views and lived experiences. The resource is applied in three learning stages: Knowing - what is money?; Growing - money, you and community; Showing - money and enterprise. The resource is aligned to the Australian teaching curriculum, and offers a flexible approach to teaching. It can be adapted for use with cultural groups other than First Australians.

Learning through COVID-19: Maximising educational outcomes for Australia’s children and young people experiencing disadvantage – Pillar 3 report

Education, Young People, Evidence-Based Program, Children, COVID-19, Report

This report from the University of Queensland builds on two previous reports in a series exploring the impact of COVID-19 on learning to present evidence-based options for action to address disadvantage. Evidence-based interventions and programs were identified across core actions within four priority Action Areas: student mental health, wellbeing and hope; future role of teachers, schools and communities; digital equity; and protections for the most vulnerable students. The researchers assessed 65 programs for implementation readiness in the Australian context. The findings reveal key evidence gaps and the report urges government to take action in 16 areas.

Lessons learned from Term 2 remote and flexible learning

Education, Technology, COVID-19, Report

These three reports (an independent analysis, Parliamentary secretary report and report on focus groups) have been released from the Victorian Government about the experience of remote and flexible learning in Term 2 for students, teachers and families during coronavirus (COVID-19). The reports were informed by more than 3600 submissions from teachers, parents, students and education experts as part of a community consultation process. The reports provide insight from government, independent and Catholic schools into the experiences of students, teachers and educators who had to quickly adapt in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Life, disrupted: Young people, education and employment before and after COVID-19

Education, Young People, COVID-19, Employment, Report

The Monash University Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice has released this report exploring the relationship between education and work and the contextual factors that shape education and work for young people in Australia. The report finds that the disruptions caused by the pandemic have magnified existing social issues, such as job insecurity, erosion of worker rights and shifting career identities, which have led to significant challenges for young people. The report discusses the implications of these social issues for educational providers.

Making the grade: A progress report and next steps for Integrated Student Supports

Education, Mental Health, Report

Integrated Student Supports (ISS) models in schools recognise that students’ unmet non-academic needs can undermine their academic success. ISS offers specific services and supports to students and their families, such as housing assistance mental health services, to build a foundation for academic success. This review synthesises the existing evidence relating to the ISS approach to schooling. Several strong evaluations show support for the ISS model, highlighting flow-on effects for long-term family outcomes.

Ombudsman’s Investigation into Victorian Government School Expulsions


The Ombudsman’s report into Victorian government school expulsions has found that significant reform is needed to adequately measure exactly how many children are excluded from government schools each year, and to ensure that the Victorian education system is not entirely excluding some of the most vulnerable children. The report shows that 278 children were expelled in Victoria in 2016, including children as young as five. The report also revealed that a disproportionate number of children being expelled were in out-of-home care, had a disability or identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Parent and Family Engagement: An Implementation Guide for School Communities

Education, Families and parenting, Client Engagement, Handbook

This guide from ARACY gives practical guidance on how school communities can design and implement successful parent and family engagement practices. It draws from a wide body of research to provide evidence and examples of how you can make parent and family engagement relevant to your school and community.

Preparing young people for the future of work

Education, Young People

The Mitchell Institute has brought together a group of education practitioners, government leaders and policy experts to consider the challenge of improving young people’s transitions into employment. Young Australians are studying for longer than ever before but are disengaged and struggling to secure long-term employment. The unemployment rate of young people (15-24 year olds) averaged 12.7 per cent in 2016. The authors argue that young people are entering a competitive, global job market that requires a different set of skills from the skills emphasised in Australia’s education system.

Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying: Research-Based Policy Recommendations for Executive and Legislative Officials in 2017


Child Trends has compiled the evidence relating to bullying and cyberbullying to guide policy development. It is argued that bullying prevention strategies need to move away from more punitive measures and school exclusion to address the root causes of the problem. To address bullying effectively, the whole school community should be involved in the planning and implementation of anti-bullying strategies that are context specific.

Problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools

Education, Early years

The Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse has released the Report of Case Study 45 -Problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools. The institutions publicly examined in this case were Trinity Grammar School, The King’s School and Shalom Christian College. The report inquired into the systems, policies, procedures and practices for responding to allegations of problematic or harmful sexual behaviours of children within those schools.

Promoting social and emotional learning in preschool: programs and practices that work

Education, Early years

In this brief, Pennsylvania State University summarises what is known about effective preschool social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and practices based on recent research studies. The studies presented in the brief support the use of SEL programs in preschool, with evidence of positive impacts on children’s development of SEL skills, their engagement with learning, interpersonal relationships and educational achievement. The paper identifies critical factors for success, such as supportive teacher-child interactions and effective engagement with parents.

Quality is key in early childhood education in Australia


This report from the Mitchell Institute highlights the importance of providing quality early childhood education to Australian children. It shows that children who have the most to gain from high quality services— such as those from disadvantaged backgrounds—are less likely to access services than children from higher socio-economic families. A review of the evidence shows that quality in early learning is driven by educators who can provide effective learning opportunities (through explicit teaching of skills and concepts) and sustained and reciprocal interactions.

Quality of School Life – Adventure (Motivation) subscale (QSL)

Education, Journal article, Tool/toolkit

The QSL measures primary-school-aged students’ perceptions towards school against three dimensions, 1) general satisfaction with school 2) commitment to school work 3) attitudes towards teachers. Learn more about the QSL

Reducing relationship and sexual violence: Findings from reviews about the effectiveness of respectful relationships and bystander programs in school and tertiary education settings

Education, Evaluation, Report, Sexual Violence, Report

ANROWS has released this research report as part of the What works: Overviews of reviews series. It examines the effectiveness of respectful relationships and bystander programs in schools and tertiary education settings. The overview of the evidence from systematic reviews found promising results in the areas of improving attitudes and increasing knowledge, however the results were mixed when considering whether the programs reduced violence. The report contains key factors associated with increased effectiveness.

School Attitudes Assessment Survey-Revised

Education, Journal article, Tool/toolkit

This article describes the School Attitudes Assessment Survey - Revised (SAAS-R). This survey is a validated instrument used to measure the attitudes of adolescents toward school and teachers as well as their goal-valuation, motivation and academic self-perceptions. It is also used to explore below average academic achievement in high school students.

School-based Depression and Anxiety Prevention Programs for Young People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Education, Mental Health

This paper investigates the effectiveness of school-based programs in preventing depression and anxiety in young people. It is particularly interested in the validity of embedding mental health prevention programs into the school curriculum. This paper highlights the need for improvements in access to mental health prevention services for young people, opposed to treatment after the fact.

Single-sex schooling and achievement outcomes


Analysis of NAPLAN numeracy and reading data shows that that separating the genders does not provide a greater value-add over time in comparison to coeducational schools. Author Dr Katherine Dix explains that there is an ongoing debate about the benefits of single-sex schools in terms of student achievement. This analysis shows the gap in educational achievement between single-sex and coeducational schools narrowing over time.

Social and economic impacts of implementing the voluntary earlier school starting age


A report from the Secretary of the Department of Education in Tasmania discusses the opportunity to lower the school entry age to three years of age. The report examines the potential impact of the change to the early childhood education and care sector and presents mitigation strategies to ensure sustainable service delivery for families. Upon review of the evidence, the Tasmanian Minister for Education is advised to maintain the school entry age of five, while funding the delivery and evaluation of the Working Together for 3 Year Olds – a targeted pre-school initiative.

Socioeconomic gaps in early childhood experiences: 1998 to 2010

Education, Early years, low income

Using two nationally representative data sets, this study compares the early life experiences of kindergarteners in 1998 and 2010 in the United States. The study finds that young children in the 2010 cohort were exposed to more books and reading in the home, have more access to educational games on computers, and engage more with their parents, both inside and outside of the home, than the 1990 cohort. This is true for both lower-income and higher-income families.

Identify, Design, Evaluate

Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)

Education, Mental Health, Tool/toolkit

The SDQ is a well validated and population-normed instrument which assesses in respect of emotional problems, peer problems, conduct problems, hyperactivity, and prosocial behaviour. Learn more about the SDQ...

Success, retention, and completion of care leaver students in Australian higher education

Education, Report, Care Leavers, Report

This report from researchers at Latrobe University and Federation University Australia examines the access, geo-demographic profile, course selection, success, retention, and completion rates of care leavers across the two universities. The study found that a whole of life cycle approach to supporting care-experienced students is needed to address the compounding disadvantages they often face. The report noted that the outreach and recruitment strategies adopted by La Trobe University and Federation University Australia, supported by the Raising Expectations program – which is led by the Centre in partnership with the two universities and Swinburne University – show the potential to increase enrolments dramatically through targeted actions. The researchers make eight recommendations.

Supporting all children to thrive: The importance of equity in early childhood education

Education, Report, Children, Report

The Front Project has released this report analysing Australian Early Development Census data to examine the locations and circumstances of children assessed as developmentally vulnerable in 2021. The study found that access to developmental support in the form of high-quality early education and care is inequitable for children based on where they live and their cultural background. The report proposes a range of policy interventions to address this issue.

Supporting all children to thrive: The importance of equity in early childhood education

Education, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Children, Child Development

The Front Project has released this report analysing Australian Early Development Census data to examine the locations and circumstances of children assessed as developmentally vulnerable in 2021. The study details many results as well as proposes a range of policy interventions to address issues found.

This Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) analysis presents an overview of teens' employment, by age and gender. This includes when and how often teens are working, in what types of employment and the income they receive for their employment. At 14-15 years old, almost 40% had worked in the previous year, with more girls employed (42%) compared to boys (36%).

The career aspirations of young adolescent boys and girls


This Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) publication describes the types of jobs adolescents at age 14–15 would like to have in the future. Consistent with previous studies, the AIFS found marked gender differences in career aspirations. The career aspirations are consistent with gender stereotypes, and the gendered nature of subject selection in school. The paper offers a discussion of the implications arising from the research and highlights the integral role of school staff and parents in providing support for young people as they make plans for their future careers.

The characteristics and potential effects of the school that Indigenous Australians attend

Education, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

This Working Paper from Australian National University’s Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) uses National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data to map the distribution of Indigenous students across Australian schools, and identify some of the effects of that distribution on literacy and numeracy outcomes. The researchers consider whether and how school segregation plays a role in undermining the educational performance of Indigenous children.

The inclusion of LGBTQI+ students across education systems: An overview

Education, Young People, Policy, LGBTIQ+, Student Wellbeing, Health and Wellbeing

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released this report seeking to understand the challenges experienced by LGBTQI+ students and examining supportive educational policies and programs across OECD countries. This report had many findings and also identified seven practices that contribute to the wellbeing of LGBTQI+ students.

The paradigm shifters: Entrepreneurial learning in schools

Education, Report

This Mitchell Institute report presents the background, design and findings from an innovative initiative called The paradigm shifters: Entrepreneurial learning in schools. It draws together international evidence to develop an understanding entrepreneurial education and its benefits. Global and digital transformations are creating both challenges and opportunities in terms of changing the way we learn, and creating new possibilities for students. This report showcases the Australian schools that are already adapting approaches to education to ensure that students access the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an increasingly complex education and employment environment.

The power of teacher expectations


This analysis of survey data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS), conducted by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, investigates the effects of differences in teacher expectations on students’ likelihood of completing college. It finds that teacher expectations matter significantly, with college completion rates systematically higher for students whose teachers had higher expectations for them. The data also reveals clear disparities in the expectations that teachers have for students of different races.

The social and economic rationale of inclusive education: An overview of the outcomes in education for diverse groups of students

Education, Report

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released this education working paper reviewing the evidence on the potential benefits and costs of inclusive education reforms. It outlines the effects of exclusion and inclusion in educational settings for diverse groups of students including students with special education needs; immigrant and refugee students; ethnic groups, national minorities and Indigenous peoples; gifted students; female and male students; and LGBTQI+ students.

Towards an adaptive education system in Australia

Education, Report

In its new discussion paper, the Grattan Institute argues that we need to rethink the ways that we are teaching students, supporting teachers and running schools. It argues that we need to create an education system that adapts and improves over time, and supports the translation of a growing body of research about what works best, into daily classroom practice. It proposes six ways Australia can make its education system more adaptive, thereby improving outcomes for children.

Understanding Bullying: From School to the Workplace


This online book outlines what is currently known about schools as settings for bullying and school-based interventions. It considers the different ways in which students cope with bullying and reflects on the role of parents and teachers in helping to combat bullying within this context.

Uneven impacts of COVID-19 on the attendance rates of secondary school students from different socioeconomic backgrounds in Australia: A quasi-experimental analysis of administrative data

Education, low income, COVID-19, Adolescents, School

This article, published in the Australian Journal of Social Issues, draws on administrative data on school attendance collected in Tasmania in 2020 to show how the impacts of COVID-19 school shutdowns were unevenly experienced by those from a lower SES background. This study found many negative impacts, which are further discussed in the article.

VET as a re-engagement pathway for early school leavers

Education, Report, Survey, Early school leavers, Report

This study from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research analysed Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) data to explore the prevalence and characteristics of vocational education and training (VET) as a re-engagement pathway for early school leavers. The study found that 63 per cent of early school leavers who re-engaged with education did so via VET. A key finding was that an important predictor of educational re-engagement for early school leavers was having parents with aspirations for them.

Youth Work Matters Social Return on Investment Study

Education, Youth Justice, Mental Health, Young People, Housing, Employment

The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to conduct a social and economic return on investment (SROI) to understand the impact of youth work in Victoria and strengthen the evidence base to inform policy decisions. The report covers mental health and wellbeing, education and employment, housing, and interaction with the justice system, and highlights the crucial role that youth work plays in improving the lives of young people in Victoria.

‘I Had to Take a Casual Contract and Work One Day a Week’: Students’ experiences of lengthy university placements as drivers of precarity

Education, Student Wellbeing, Employment, School, Economic Wellbeing

This article, published in Work, Employment and Society, presents the results of a survey of social work students at an Australian university who undertook a lengthy unpaid placement as part of their study. The study shows that these students faced increased workforce precarity and it also created major restrictions on their ability to work while studying. Further findings are detailed in this article.

‘You going to uni?’ Exploring how people from regional, rural and remote areas navigate into and through higher education

Education, Report, Student Wellbeing, Regional Rural and Remote Areas, Report

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education at Curtin University and the University of Wollongong have released this report investigating risks to university completion for students from regional, rural and remote locations of Australia. Drawing on interviews and surveys with university students, the study found that key enablers of university completion included individual strengths and qualities, strong networks of support from family and community, and belongingness and connectedness.