In late 2016, a funding and support partnership was signed off between The Buckland Foundation, CEP and the Mallee Track cluster of schools to begin the “REAL” project.
The “Remote Education – Accessible Learning” (REAL) project will address the growing challenges of declining populations, limited access to opportunities, and difficulty of recruiting staff facing the remote Mallee Track community by developing a high quality collaborative education framework that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of their children and young people. It will bring together the ten education providers, partner universities and Country Education Partnership in a strong collaboration to:
- Develop innovative, combined, high quality student learning programs;
- Establish staff networks to build capacity and address isolation;
- Share staff;
- Develop creative and efficient use of resources through innovative education leadership and business management approaches;
- Use interactive, youth friendly ICT to enhance student learning and teacher professional learning;
- Incorporate the University sector in providing expertise in professional learning, research, and involve Pre-Service Teachers.
REAL will operate over four years, and focus on the key outcomes:
- developing a sustainable, innovative framework for the provision of learning across the Mallee Cluster;
- broadening the opportunities for students;
- enhancing capacity, and sharing of staff;
- incorporating innovative approaches to education leadership;
- engaging universities in remote education communities;
- resulting in enhanced, and improved learning outcomes for children and young people throughout the Mallee Track.
To develop a whole of community, place based, Collaborative Education approach in supporting children and young people within a remote community (Mallee Track involving 10 schools) having access to high quality learning that is reflective of their needs and aspirations.
The REAL project will focus on the ten education communities within the remote communities that comprise the Mallee Track to establish an education provision approach that focuses on education organisations working collaboratively to provide education into the future resulting in improved opportunities and outcomes for their children and young people.
It will centre on the development of a “Mallee Track Education Framework”, which will include:
- Developing a Mallee Track teaching and learning approach for 0-18+ year olds
- Establishing common structures to support education provision – common timetabling, etc.
- A blended learning approach to provide post compulsory education
- A blended learning approach to provide other curriculum areas – especially in hard to staff areas
- Joint education programs provided across the Mallee Track including extra curricula, sporting, etc.
- Establishing and supporting a Mallee Track Leadership and Governance approach – sharing the expertise of individual leaders – E.g. Portfolio education leadership
- Establishing a collaborative Business Managers network in developing effective business management and efficient resource use
- Establish professional learning communities across the Mallee Track, building to involvement of all staff over the four years
- Developing a peer-to-peer growth and development approach
- Establishing approaches that see staff shared across the schools, especially in those learning areas that are difficult to provide
- Provision of professional learning to build capacity of all staff focusing on areas such as blended learning; use of ICT for education provision; peer to peer review, growth and development; collaborative education, and building a culture of improvement and excellence.
- Involvement of university staff in supporting the implementation of research;
- Involvement of pre-service teacher teams;
- Development of effective evaluation processes to document learning outcomes and impacts.In addition, high quality presenters will be engaged to work with the Mallee Track in building capacity, or embracing areas of change that result in enhanced and improved learning provision for children and young people.
The REAL project will document the initiatives and learning from the project and share them with other remote education communities, education sectors and governments.
To support the overall development and implementation of the REAL project, a Project Facilitator will be engaged by the Country Education Partnership to work directly with the Mallee Track in establishing the various activities, as well as working with them to develop a sustainable approach into the future.
Outcomes from the REAL project will include:
- the development of a sustainable collaborative framework for the provision of learning across the Mallee Track
- innovative approaches to the provision of learning catering for every student
- broader curriculum options for students, especially in curriculum areas difficult to staff
- improved learning outcomes for students
- sharing of educators across the Mallee Track
- Development of innovative education leadership models
- more effective use of resources – both financial and personnel
- high utilisation of ICT as a core tool in the delivery of learning
- greater involvement of universities within the Mallee Track
- greater number of graduate educators wanting to work within the Mallee Track
- the development of a remote education framework that can be utilised by other remote communities
- increased collaboration between early years learning and schooling
Regular updates on the work and progress of the REAL project will be made available both via our website and also via our newsletter, Bush Voices.