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  What Works - The Work Program

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The education of Indigenous students has often suffered from ad hoc and sporadic efforts which might work well for a while and then go off the boil. A teacher with a particular commitment and interest might leave. Funding might be withdrawn from a program. A policy might be squeezed off the list to be attended to.

In remote areas of the country, communities are unfortunately familiar with programs that seem to be working, but fall away when a particular teacher or principal leaves. But this phenomenon is far from restricted to remote areas.

All these considerations tell us that effective action to improve outcomes for Indigenous students needs to be carefully planned and implemented, and that sustainability of improvement must be considered from the outset.

What gets prioritised gets done. This means having in place a policy and a plan to implement that policy. Responsibilities need to be assigned, targets established, and progress towards their achievement monitored. Strategies need to be thought through and resources provided. The Workbook provides an outline for this process.

High expectations of students matter. Dr Chris Sarra of the Stronger Smarter Institute has written and spoken extensively about this, and argued that for too long there has been a tide of low expectations of Indigenous students. The Stronger Smarter Institute is dedicated to changing the tide and provides focused programs to assist school leaders to do so.

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