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In challenged communities, schools provide more than just a place of learning; they’re a source of stability.

School leaders assume an important role in the lives of their students and communities.

Great school leaders create the conditions that enable better education and social outcomes and are shifting the dial of social disadvantage in Australia.

The SVA Bright Spots Schools Connection (The Connection) is a network of high-performing school leaders working in low socio-economic areas.

Through building and supporting this network, The Connection is working to ensure that the broader education system is informed by their example and that every child in Australia has the same excellent opportunities in learning and life.

Founded in 2013, The Connection has grown from a network of 8 to 50 schools, which are currently drawn from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

The model

The Connection currently works with 50 schools and their leaders, reaching more than 2,800 educators and approximately 30,000 students in Australia. The team convenes and co-designs a number of activities with schools which:

  • Identify successful education practice in low-socioeconomic areas.
  • Build capacity and mobilises the knowledge and expertise of school leaders.
  • Spread evidence-based practice through exposure to cutting-edge thinking and network opportunities.
  • Influence the education landscape to deliver impact for disadvantaged communities where it is most needed.

In 2017, 91% of schools met or exceeded their expectations of progress in improved school leadership and 88% of leaders increased their connections with other like-minded leaders. The ongoing impact of The Connection model is being evaluated by ACER (Australian Council for Education Research) and RMIT.

Activities and events

Thought Leadership Gatherings

Thought Leadership Gatherings

Two-day quarterly events that highlight experts from all fields as a stimulus for new learning, deep thinking and authentic action.

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Hub Days

Hub Days

School leaders gather in local clusters to work collaboratively on the contextual challenges and opportunities of their individual schools.

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International Exploration

International Exploration

School leaders engage with creative, evidence-based practices beyond the Australian education landscape through structured overseas learning visits.

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Systems approach

The Connection seeks to support education systems across Australia to understand the conditions that deliver great education outcomes in disadvantaged contexts, including:

  • How strategic investments in disadvantaged schools can be leveraged to drive school improvement and student outcomes
  • How school leaders benefit from autonomy and flexibility in allocating resources
  • How community and corporate organisations can support and accelerate school improvement, and how partnerships with organisations such as SVA can have significant and sustainable impact on the school and its students
  • How to establish the structures that encourage and enable schools to collaborate efficiently

The outcomes and lessons of The Connection are shared continually, both formally and informally, with systems and school leaders.

Schools in The Connection

Powerhouse Schools

Powerhouse Schools

We identify and invest in schools that have demonstrated excellent outcomes despite challenging circumstances.

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Star Hub Schools

Star Hub Schools

We partner with schools that are ready and primed for change, and support them to access and understand the evidence on successful school improvement.

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STEM Learning Hub Schools

STEM Learning Hub Schools

With the support of Samsung Electronics Australia, we bring STEM expertise and support to schools in communities where those resources are most needed.

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Thank you to our major corporate partner

Insights

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