From time to time, the Education Review Office publishes national evaluation reports that focus solely on good practice. Towards Equitable Outcomes in Secondary Schools is one of those reports. It showcases the successes of a small number of secondary schools that are really making a difference for their students.

A key area of concern and focus for the Government and the education sector is the current disparities between those students achieving well and those students that our education system consistently fails.

The report highlights seven secondary schools of decile 5 or below with good student engagement and achievement statistics. It describes what success looks like for their students and the consistent aspects across all seven schools that contribute to such success. These examples show that, despite wider social and economic challenges, schools and communities can work together to keep every student engaged and achieving.

The aspects of good practice are nothing new – effective leadership, strong parent and community engagement, effective use and analysis of data, self review and programmes tailored to meet the needs of individual students. What makes the big difference in these schools is their culture of care and wellbeing. This culture gives their students a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose and the motivation to succeed. It binds the school and the community together and keeps the students engaged.

Students’ success in education relies on many people and organisations across the community working together for the benefit of children and young people. We trust this information will help schools, educators and communities.

Di Anderson

Chief Review Officer (Acting)

Education Review Office

May 2014