Ground-breaking new research from The Centre for Independent Studies has identified the common policies and practices leading to success in disadvantaged primary schools.
In Overcoming the Odds: A study of Australia’s top-performing disadvantaged schools, education research fellow Blaise Joseph investigated the practices of primary schools that perform well on NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests despite having high proportions of students from disadvantaged social backgrounds — and not receiving any more funding than other similarly disadvantaged schools.
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The study — the first of its kind conducted in Australia — found six common themes across nine high-achieving disadvantaged primary schools:
Mr Joseph said these six consistent themes indicate how disadvantaged primary schools could improve significantly, without necessarily having to increase school spending.
“Students from disadvantaged social backgrounds perform worse academically on average than more advantaged students, both in Australia and overseas,” he said.
“But this research shows it is possible for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed at school, given the right policies and practices — and this doesn’t require significantly more taxpayer funding.”
Blaise Joseph is an education Research Fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies and a former teacher.
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