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New report identifies ten innovative practices that improve student outcomes

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) today released a landmark report, Improving Outcomes for All: Leading Reform Through Innovation, that shows how Independent schools can actively improve student outcomes through innovative practices.

Australian governments have identified equity, wellbeing, and workforce as the priority areas for national school reform. These priorities will be the basis of the Better and Fairer Schools Agreement.

ISA’s report showcases how ten Independent schools from across Australia are addressing these challenges, identifying opportunities, creatively adapting evidenced-based practice to their school context to improve outcomes.

Image: Independent Schools Australia

ISA Chief Executive Mr Graham Catt said the autonomous nature of Independent schools supports agility and innovation that is responsive to school, student, and teacher needs and encourages cross-sector collaboration and community engagement.

“Independent schools’ autonomy supports their responses to the changing needs of their community, staff, students and families,” Mr Catt said. “That was evident through COVID, for example, as Independent schools responded to the challenges that ever-changing lockdowns and restrictions imposed on the learning environment.

“Independent schools can incorporate their own innovative programs and practices, and they are often early adopters of new technologies and pedagogical approaches,” he said.

“We are excited to launch this landmark report as a contribution to the national discussions around school reform and look forward to ongoing engagement and consultation with governments and other school sectors.

“ISA is committed to collaborating with all stakeholders to get the best outcomes for every Australian school student, regardless of sector.”

About Independent schools in Australia
• 716,848 students attend Independent schools.
• One fifth of Independent school enrolments (140,349 students) are in regional and remote Australia.
• 60% of Independent school students come from low and middle income families.
• Independent school students are more likely to speak Mandarin (18% vs 12% of total schools) and Arabic (13% vs 6%) than those in other sectors.
• 22% of Independent school students are Students with Disability.
• 19,299 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students attend Independent schools.
• Most Independent schools are small to medium-sized and charge fees below $6,000.
• 37% of Independent schools have less than 200 students, and 3% have more than 2,000 students.
• The median annual fee at an Independent school is $5,537.
• More Independent schools charge fees under $1,200 than fees over $20,000.
• Families contribute over $8 billion towards their children’s education in Independent schools.
• Independent schools are projected to grow by 2.1% annually for the next 10 years compared to 1.2% across all school sectors.

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