Building world-class schools in Australia

It’s no secret that Australian schools’ performance has been in decline for many years. That’s not for a lack of funding, nor a lack of commitment from countless dedicated educators. But more can be done to advance the learning of all students, no matter their background.

CIS Education program director Glenn Fahey is joined for a discussion on improving schools in Australia by Katharine Birbalsingh. Katharine is a leading figure in education practice and policy and founder as well as principal of London’s Michaela Community School. With opening remarks from Manisha Gazula, principal at Marsden Road Public School.

It’s a culture of high expectations, consistently well-managed classes, high behavioural standards, and commitment to explicit teaching that are the not-so-secret sauce behind educational success.

There is no better example of this in the world than the London-based, Michaela Community School. Despite serving mostly disadvantaged students, they’ve delivered exceptional outcomes. More than half of their school leavers have achieved the equivalent of an A grade — more than 2.5 times better than the national average — helping to earn Michaela international praise.

What do Australian schools have to learn from Michaela’s success? How can teachers and school leaders improve practice? How can schools with disadvantaged students truly overcome the educational odds?