Published on : Monday, September 15, 2014
The Northern Territory Government commissioned a review of middle years’ schooling in Northern Territory Government schools to identify opportunities to strengthen the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the middle years after the model was introduced eight years ago.
Independent education consultant Vic Zbar has visited the Territory’s five standalone middle schools and three comprehensive schools. He has engaged with school leadership teams and consulted stakeholder groups about middle years’ schooling and addressed how the standard of education could be improved.
Minister for Education Peter Chandler said while there are many examples of outstanding practice contributing to improved student outcomes in the middle years’, there is a lack of systemic direction in this stage of schooling.
“Initial findings and recommendations suggest a number of steps need to be taken to better define middle schools and create a vision for this important stage of schooling,” Mr Chandler said.
“Mr Zbar believes that a vision statement that encompasses the purpose and direction of middle schools would be a fantastic starting point to establish consistent, best practice approaches across the board.
“The need for consistent assessment practices has been highlighted as a priority across this phase of schooling, enabling access to quality data to inform best practice
“School leadership and improvement are a key focus areas of the early findings and Mr Zbar suggests that strengthening principals’ skills, including the delivery of coaching and mentoring, a recommendation from Bruce Wilson’s Indigenous Education Review, be extended to middle schools.
“The importance of quality leadership has been a common theme across the Indigenous Education Review, the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy and now through the middle years’ review.
“Once again, the importance of literacy and numeracy featured heavily with a draft recommendation suggesting each middle school nominate a specialist literacy and numeracy leader to drive excellence and quality teaching in these critical areas.”
Mr Zbar will present his 25 draft recommendations to parents, school councils and community members across the Territory this week, other areas they cover include:
School structure and the learning environment
Curriculum and assessment
Transition into and from the middle years
Systemic leadership and support
Source:- Tourism Northern Territory