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Supporting Professional Learning for Teachers in Schools

November 12th, 2018

Findings from four years of grant to support teaching quality in schools around Australia have been gathered in an evaluation.

The Sidney Myer Fund’s Education Capacity Building Stream made 25 grants totalling $1,200,000 to schools around Australia to enable teachers to develop their practice through peer observation and mentoring.

Learning First was engaged to undertake an evaluation of the program, to explore the outcomes for schools of the grants as well as the factors for success. Learning First reviewed applications and reports, ran a survey of all schools and visited funded schools in each State. It found evidence that the philanthropic investment improved teacher learning and student outcomes in many schools. Schools integrated peer observation and mentoring into their professional practice in different ways

Despite challenges and barriers to implementation, teachers and school leaders provided ample evidence of teacher learning and improved student outcomes. Many teachers and school leaders were clear that peer observations had lifted student achievement by helping them to see what their colleagues were doing, and how mentoring improved student outcomes by supporting teachers as they developed their pedagogical repertoire.

School leaders in the case study schools enthusiastically expressed a view that their students would not have improved without the SMF grant. They believed that dedicated time and expert support had accelerated teacher learning, which benefits students. One school leader called the grant, ‘first-class philanthropy’ in a survey response.

The Sidney Myer Fund thanks Learning First for its excellent work and all the schools, teachers and school leaders for their participated in this endeavour and their dedication to quality teaching and great student learning outcomes.

Click here to read the report.


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