SVA welcomes government $50 million commitment to new national evidence institute

Social Ventures Australia today warmly welcomed the commitment by Australia’s nine Education Council Ministers that together they would invest $50million to create the national evidence institute (NEI) to ensure that Australia’s teachers have access to the latest, rigorous evidence to inform practice in classrooms and early learning centres.

SVA CEO Suzie Riddell said that SVA had been one of the strongest voices in support of a national evidence institute to ensure that good practice could become common practice by generating better evidence, sharing it with educators and promoting its use through implementation tools and guides.

“Five years ago SVA set out to create a new institution, based on the best local and international examples, that would help lift education outcomes for children by promoting the use of evidence in school classrooms and early learning centres across the country.”

“We created an organisation, called Evidence for Learning, as a demonstration model for how this new institution could work in the Australian federation, across jurisdictions, with Catholic and Independent schools as well as integrated into early learning settings.”

“Today I am delighted to see that a model we pioneered in Australia is now being taken up by our Commonwealth and State Governments and backed by an initial four-year investment of $50 million. I hope that it will grow over time to become a driver of better education in this country.”

“Evidence bodies of this kind have also been shown internationally to have a more significant positive impact on the learning outcomes for students who come from low income backgrounds.

“It’s my expectation that the national evidence institute will help to bridge the significant gap between the outcomes achieved by children from low-income backgrounds and their higher income classmates.”

Education Council today also announced that Dr Jenny Donovan would be appointed the Inaugural Director of the NEI, commencing from 1 July.

Ms Riddell said that SVA congratulated Dr Donovan on her appointment and that Australia is fortunate to have someone of her eminence and standing to be setting up the NEI this year.

“I’m delighted that Dr Donovan has been appointed to this crucial role. She is a leader in her field and has extensive experience working within education systems, in research and has a track record of promoting the use of evidence in the classroom.”

Dr Donovan is also the Chair of Evidence for Learning’s Research Use and Evaluation Committee.

“SVA looks forward to working closely with Dr Donovan and to supporting her in this new role in any way we can to ensure that we have a world class National Evidence Institute”.