Re-engaging young people in education

PDF icon seep_report_lr.pdf5.6 MB

Professor Barry Down with Dr Kathryn Choules conducted a major study ‘The Secondary Engagement Evaluation Project in Low SES' on behalf of the Western Australian Department of Education to examine how several Big Picture inspired schools successfully re-engaged young people in education

The Issue

Young people of school age are switching off and disengaging from schooling at unprecedented rates; especially in low SES school communities

Between 30-40% of young people are not completing 12 years of secondary education. If you happen to be Indigenous, poor or live in rural and remote communities, the figures are progressively worse.

This failure to achieve high levels of school retention and student engagement represents a significant and intractable problem for individuals, families, communities and governments.

We are all worse off when young people fail to realise their potential and do not make a meaningful transition to a rewarding adult life. The implications for the individual and society are long lasting and costly in both human and financial terms.

Western Australian Schools and Big Picture

The report documents the endeavours of one small metropolitan high school (Yule Brook College) and two large high schools (Thornlie SHS and Manjimup SHS) to re-engage marginalised students through personalised learning approaches inspired by Big Picture Education Australia (BPEA).

The evidence draws on the stories of teachers, school leaders, parents and administrators to identify, describe and explain the particular conditions that Yule Brook College has created to achieve a profound shift in student engagement and academic performance.

Drawing on the empirical evidence described in this report we can conclude that student engagement is more likely when the focus is on creating small teacher-led community based schools that are highly personalised and success orientated.

Big Picture Story Evolving

This is one report of many that are starting to detail the evolving story of Big Picture in Australia.

Many teachers and many students have their own stories of success. We'll be sending them out as they appear.

Read The Report

If you'd like to read the report in full, please follow this link.