Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy

Past projects

Australian Research Council grants

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant - Senior secondary certification: Meeting the national agenda? 2010-2013 - LP100200162

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant - Vocational studies in school – does it matter if I'm a girl and if I'm poor? 2010-2012 - DP1094192

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant - Federalism and Schools, 2010-2012 - LP100100503

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant - Vocational Education and Training in Schools: Cultural Resistance and the Academic Tradition, 2007-2008

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant – Being Digital in School, Home and Community, 2005-2007

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant - Education and training and regional networks: the implications for outcomes and governance, 2002-2004

Other projects

Thinking Business Report, NSW Business Chamber, 2015

Chances for Children Evaluation, Mallee Family Care, Mildura, 2015

NSW BVET Destinations and Expectations Survey, Office of the Board of Studies and NSW Board of Vocational Education & Training, 2013

Malaysia Education Policy Review (lead writer TVET review section), UNESCO, 2012

Impacts of High Stakes Testing on Students (with Foundation for Young Australians), Whitlam Institute, Sydney, 2012

Evaluation of the Senior Secondary School Pilots, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria, 2012

Strategic Review of Language, Literacy and Numeracy Training in Victoria and South Australia, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, SA Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, 2012-2013

Vocations: the link between post-compulsory education and the labour market, NCVER with LH Martin Institute, the University of Sydney and RMIT, 2011-2013

Longitudinal Teacher Education and Workforce Study, Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2011-2013

European Masters in Lifelong Learning: Policy and Management, European Union funding through the Erasmus Mundus program with partners Aarhus Universitet, Denmark (co-ordinating institution), Universidad de Deusto, Spain and the Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom, 2011-2016

Federal and Supranational Interventions in Education – the case of vocational programs for youth, Major Research Projects & Initiatives Development Support Fund, The University of Melbourne, 2011-2012

Longitudinal Survey of Three Cohorts of University Deferrers in Victoria – Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, 2010-2014

Learning, Sustainability and Change: The Workplace for a Sustainable Future, Monash University Small Grant, 2011

Next Step Survey of School Completers – Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, 2010

Providing Support to Disadvantaged Learners in the Australian Vocational Education and Training System, National VET Equity Advisory Council, 2010

Equitable and Inclusive VET, National VET Equity Advisory Council, 2009-2010

Statutory Requirements of VET Providers to Support Equity Groups, National VET Equity Advisory Council, 2009

Indigenous Students at Monash University: Access, Participation, Retention and Financial Support, Monash University, 2009Australian Technical College North Queensland Environmental Scan – ATCN, 2009

NSW Retention Targets Study – NSW Department of Education and Training, 2009

Next Step Survey of School Completers – Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, 2009

A Theoretical Underpinning Study of World's Best Practice in Teaching and Learning for Student Pathways, Monash College Pty Ltd, 2009

A Stocktake of Social Inclusion in VET and Higher Education, Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009

Review of Victorian English Language Centres/Schools – Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2008-2009

Non-metropolitan LLEN Deferrals Survey – Victorian Local Learning and Employment Networks, 2008-2009

National Mapping of Teacher Professional Learning, Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2007-2008

Past projects prior to 2010

Behaviours of high-performing schools

Duration

2008-2010

Commissioned/funded by

Victorian Department of Human Services and the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Researchers

Stephen Lamb, Suzanne Rice

Abstract

This project builds on research undertaken in the first half of 2008 by CPELL which investigated effective intervention strategies operated by Victorian government secondary schools. In this project, there are three different phases: Identify the behaviours exhibited by schools that are not improving. What behaviours are exhibited by schools that are not improving? What behaviours are barriers to improvement? How does this compare with what we know about the behaviours of improving schools? Compare the behaviours of improving schools and non improving schools and drill down into these behaviours. What are the behaviours of both the schools that are improving and those that are not improving? How are these behaviours unpacked? What is the detail in these behaviours? What are the differences in behaviour between schools that are improving and those that are not improving? Longer term (2009 and beyond). A longitudinal observational study of the behaviours that lead to improvement.

Academic curriculum and school setting: How school subjects live different lives in different schools

Duration

2005-2009

Commissioned/funded by

ARC Discovery Grant

Researchers

Richard Teese, Stephen Lamb, Sue Helme, Suzanne Rice

Abstract

This project will investigate the origins of large and persistent social differences in success and failure in upper secondary school. Few studies have examined quality of learning experience at contrastive sites in the school system or related the cognitive and cultural demands of the curriculum to the perspectives of students and teachers in successful and unsuccessful schools. Given the magnitude of inequality, effective targeting of intervention strategies and substantial improvements in course design depend on well-founded theoretical insights into how success and failure occur. Findings from this project will help make English, mathematics and chemistry more accessible and satisfying subjects.

An analysis of achievement in government primary schools in the Northern Metropolitan region

Duration

2009

Commissioned/funded by

Northern Metropolitan Region of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Researchers

Sue Helme, Richard Teese, Suzanne Rice

Abstract

This project analysed the AIM test scores of 4800 students at two stages of primary education: Grade 3 (2005) and Grade 5 (2007). The project also canvassed the views of 227 government primary school principals and teachers on strategies for raising student achievement. The main findings from this analysis and their implications for primary schools were as follows:

Achievement gaps based on socioeconomic status are evident in early primary school and persist throughout the primary grades, both in Victoria as a whole and within the region.

While schools are able to take almost all students forward, success at school remains closely linked to family social status, and achievement gaps persist. Children from lower SES backgrounds do not make progress relative to their counterparts from middle and higher SES groups (see figure below).

Feedback from 227 teachers and principals on strategies to increase student achievement revealed five key areas of need: support for targeted teaching, building staff capacity, a modern resource base, consistent practice for core needs and building community partnerships.

The findings of this study highlight the need for systems to direct a greater concentration of teaching resources and effort towards poorer schools so that poor students are given the options and futures that students from better-off backgrounds take for granted.

Education investment in Australian schooling: Serving public purposes

Duration

2007 - 2009

Commissioned/funded by

ARC Linkage Project

Researchers

A. Reid, N.C.Cranston, Jack Keating, W.R. Mulford

Abstract

The public purposes of schooling are central to the social and economic health of Australian society, since they provide a basis for realising the goals and aspirations of that society. This project will use the insights and current practices of many school communities to establish how the purposes of schooling are currently understood and enacted. This clarification will be used as the basis for (a) a reassessment and refinement of such policy statements as the National Goals of Schooling;(b) professional development activities and resources and sharing of good practice; and (c) the development of instruments for assessing the achievement of public purposes.

Effective Intervention strategies for Students at Risk of Early Leaving

Duration

2007 - 2009

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Early Childhood

Researchers

Stephen Lamb, Richard Teese, Anne Walstab and Suzanne Rice

Abstract

As Australia moves further towards a knowledge-based economy, education systems around the country are seeking to increase student retention beyond the compulsory years of schooling, enabling students to thrive in such an economy. This project seeks to identify the strategies being used by a number of Victorian government schools that have increased student retention and provided innovative models of practice for fostering student engagement and achievement, and gather information concerning perceived barriers to successful change.

Improving completions in the VET and ACE sectors

Duration

2009

Commissioned/funded by

DEECD, DIIRD

Researchers

Stephen Lamb, Kira Clarke

Abstract

Improving VET completion rates is essential to achieving the Victorian Government’s and the Council of Australian Government’s objectives to improve levels of educational attainment in Australia to boost workforce participation and productivity and to improve social and economic equity. While there is a range of factors contributing to low qualification completion rates in VET courses and some students only enrol to achieve very specific units of competence (such as Responsible Service of Alcohol) it is now generally recognised in VET that qualification completion levels are too low and compound the educational disadvantage already experienced by many younger learners attending VET institutions.

The project was commissioned to assess the effectiveness of current policy, funding and accountability interventions and to identify alternative approaches which might improve completion rates, some of which are summarised in the RFQ. It focused on young people without Year 12 or equivalent qualifications and older learners with low basic skills. This was an important focus as these groups have distinct needs and interests compared to learners with higher levels of attainment and a strong capacity to access and use the VET system to build their skills over time.

Making career development core business

Duration

2009

Commissioned/funded by

DEECD, DIIRD

Researchers

Sue Helme, Jack Keating, Sujatha Pannell, Suzanne Rice, Richard Sweet, Veronica Volkoff, Tony Watts

Abstract

There has been growing international interest in the importance of career development for public policy in recent years. This interest reflects the belief that in order to increase the effectiveness of education systems and labour markets, as with financial markets, citizens and consumers need well-organised information systems, objective and well-informed sources of advice, and the skills to be able to make choices and to manage their own futures.

This research project identified best practice in the provision of career development, locally, nationally and internationally.

The project gathered information from five main sources:

  • The career development literature;
  • Career development advisors in all Victorian schools (Government, Catholic and Independent) and in TAFE and ACE sectors;
  • Surveys of a sample of providers
  • Interviews with selected staff and stakeholders
  • Focus groups with students.

An important aspect of the project was a focus on the career development needs of young Koorie people. This involved interviews with school and TAFE leaders, career development personnel and students in a range of settings: secondary schools, TAFE and community providers. This aspect of the study highlighted the importance, for young Koorie people, of multi-faceted services that include mentoring, role models, highly coordinated individual case management for clients with complex needs, strong advocacy and liaison, and of services that acknowledge young people’s cultural heritage, including the involvement of family members and community members.

The project’s findings will inform policies for improving the delivery of career development programs in secondary schools and for 15-19 year olds in other education and training providers.

Springboard Demonstration Grants (SDG)

Duration

2007 - 2009

Commissioned/funded by

Continuing Education and Arts Centre Alexandra

Researchers

Veronica Volkoff

Abstract

Funded by the Adult Community and Further Education Board Victoria, these grants are designed to support Adult Community Education (ACE) providers in their application of learning from research to improve ACE delivery practice and produce outcomes for under-served learner groups. CPELL staff member Dr Veronica Volkoff is providing mentoring and research support to ten ACE practitioners undertaking five innovative ‘demonstration’ projects involving learners in seven Victorian ACE providers. Projects aim to: improve delivery in rural areas through use of online communication tools; assist volunteers and volunteer agencies to gain recognition for skills developed through volunteering; develop new ways of building employability skills for adult learners; and promote men’s engagement with learning within rural contexts experiencing severe economic difficulties.

Coonara Community House in Melbourne is building on CPELL’s ACE Longitudinal Study findings and their own research projects funded through ACE Circles of Professional Research Practice and mentored by CPELL staff in 2006 and 2007.

Building Futures – Developing on evaluation methodology: Literature review

Duration

2007 - 2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Researchers

Jack Keating

Abstract

Over the next decade major investments will be made in Victorian government school buildings. It has been determined that this investment should be based upon a strong educational rationale that is validated by evidence of best practice and research into the relationships between teaching practice and teaching environments. The project has supported the development of the educational and pedagogical criteria for the Building Futures program and an evaluation framework for the project.

Critical occupations and emerging skills

Duration

2007 - 2008

Commissioned/funded by

Victorian Skills Commission

Researchers

Jack Keating & Veronica Volkoff

Abstract

This review, commissioned by the Office of Training and Tertiary Education (OTTE), Victoria examined within the body of Australian and international research, the relationships between the supply of skills and the skill needs of industry. The review also explored the role of formal training systems in helping to meet and shape this supply and in particular, considered the implications for the Victorian planning processes for the public purchase of training. Key questions about: the nature of skills required now and in the future; skills constructs and skills shortages; patterns of demand for skills; the role of publicly funded training and the factors that influence the demand for, supply, distribution and application of skills; and forecasting skills needs were addressed.

Deferring a university offer in regional Victoria

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Local Learning and Employment Networks

Researchers

John Polesel

Abstract

The impetus for this survey of deferral of university places among school completers from regional Victoria was the high rate of deferral compared with metropolitan school completers. Moreover, the rate of deferral has risen steadily since tracking of school completers first began in Victoria in 2004, and the rate of deferral amongst regional young people has grown even more rapidly than that of their metropolitan counterparts, widening the gap between the two groups. In regional Victoria this rate has risen from 6.4% in 2004 to 15.7% in 2007. Tracking work carried out in Queensland also confirms this tendency and suggests that the phenomenon of higher rates of deferral amongst non-metropolitan school completers may be widespread across regional Australia.

This project sought to provide a longer-term view of the study and labour market transitions of regional school completers from the 2006 Year 12 cohort who had deferred a place at university. It found that the respondents displayed a range of mainly positive destination outcomes, with approximately seven in ten taking up a place at university. However, the research also suggested that some deferrers in country Victoria are less likely to take up a university place than others. These include those students whose achievement profile is low and those who come from a lower SES background. It is also important to consider whether the mainly positive outcomes reported in this study can be maintained over the longer term. A re-contact of the cohort in 2009 will allow an assessment to be made of this objective.

Destination tracking survey (Tracking of Year 12 students)

Duration

2007 -2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Children's Services (SA)

Researchers

John Polesel & Kira Clarke

Abstract

In 2007, the Future SACE Office of South Australia commissioned the Centre for Post-compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Melbourne to conduct a pilot survey of South Australian school completers. This survey of students completing the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) in 2006 aims to provide an insight into the various factors which impact the way young individuals navigate towards a range of post-compulsory outcomes, and which lend assistance to successful transitions into education, training and employment pathways. The survey aims to demonstrate how post-school education, training and employment data can be reported in ways that are useful to education authorities and providers as well as to the wider public, including parents and students.

Disengagement and outcomes

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Human Services and Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Researchers

Stephen Lamb, Suzanne Rice & Nicky Dulfer

Abstract

This project involved an extensive review of the international literature on disengagement from school and student outcomes. It was prepared on behalf of the Victorian Department of Human Services and the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The investigation covered three questions:

Under what circumstances does disengagement from school and education lead to adverse outcomes?

What evidence is there on the extent to which disengagement can be predicted at younger ages? (8-12)

What are the key features of schools that worsen levels of disengagement, for which children, and what changes this?

Funding government schools in Western Australia: Outcomes from the Resource Allocation Model (RAM)

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Western Australia

Researchers

Richard Teese, Stephen Lamb, Kira Clarke

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which current resource allocation practice in Western Australia supports major policy directions in education, in particular whether resources relate to needs and context and whether the resource allocation process offers flexibility to schools.

The project will examine resource allocation mechanisms for all schools for staffing, operations and specific programs (including those for students with special needs). Resource patterns will be investigated in schools with different social profiles, and will include voluntary fee collection and fund-raising capacity and the impact of resource levels on achievement. The project will estimate per student costs for different categories of schools, including senior colleges, agricultural colleges, education support and special program schools. Consultations will be undertaken with principals across Western Australia to ensure that their needs and perspectives are taken into account. The investigators will provide the Department of Education and Training with advice about the suitability, strengths and weaknesses of current approaches, and identify any desirable changes in the light of policy directions, and examine alternative approaches and the range of tasks that would need to be undertaken to implement change.

International trends in education regulation

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority

Researchers

John Polesel

Abstract

Since the 1970s, a perception of government “failure” has led to increasing levels of privatisation of services previously regulated and owned by governments. This has resulted in processes of re-regulation, with governments prepared to cede regulatory powers to independent agencies, based on a view that these agencies have greater public credibility than elected executives and greater longevity and stability. An associated trend – towards school autonomy – which characterises most modern economies and which began in the 1980s, also forms an important contextual feature of changes in approaches towards school regulation. The movement towards greater school autonomy which began in countries such as Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands has now taken hold in most OECD nations, including Australia.

This project seeks to understand the main international debates and literature on regulatory frameworks in education. It analyses a small number of international systems with widely varying approaches to regulation as illustrative of some of the main trends – England, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Italy.

It argues that the Victorian context is most similar to that found in England, in the sense that schools are relatively autonomous, there is significant funding of private schools and the regulatory function is conducted by an independent expert agency rather than government. However, while compliance with a range of regulations governing the registration and operation of schools is required in Australian systems, broader public accountability for student outcomes is not. It argues that the substantial issue of transparency arising from the increased emphasis on parental choice has not been addressed in the Australian context. This is in sharp contrast to international policy developments, which demonstrate that increased school autonomy internationally has been accompanied by higher levels of public accountability, including measures of student achievement and financial probity.

Leaving school in South Australia: The destinations of SACE competitors

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Children's Services, South Australia

Researchers

John Polesel, Richard Teese, Kira Clarke

Abstract

This project monitors and analyses the destinations of a large sample of young people who undertook their SACE in 2007. It will report on employment, training and further study destinations for the whole of the sample as well as investigating outcomes for different sub-groups of the sample. These include young people from different socioeconomic backgrounds and indigenous students. The project will also examine differences based on local (urban/rural/remote). The survey instrument has been designed to capture issues such as aspiration levels, perceived barriers to further study or training, the occupations that young people enter (whether as workers or as students or both), the hours they work, the courses they undertake, and if they are in further study or training. The project builds on a trial survey in South Australia in 2006.

Literature review on critical occupations and emerging skills

Duration

2007 - 2008

Commissioned/funded by

Office of Training and Tertiary Education (OTTE), Victoria

Researchers

Jack Keating, Veronica Volkoff & Kira Clarke

Abstract

This review, commissioned by the Office of Training and Tertiary Education (OTTE), Victoria examined within the body of Australian and international research, the relationships between the supply of skills and the skill needs of industry. The review also explored the role of formal training systems in helping to meet and shape this supply and in particular, considered the implications for the Victorian planning processes for the public purchase of training. Key questions about: the nature of skills required now and in the future; skills constructs and skills shortages; patterns of demand for skills; the role of publicly funded training and the factors that influence the demand for, supply, distribution and application of skills; and forecasting skills needs were addressed.

Next Step 2008: The destinations of Year 12 school leavers in Queensland

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and the Arts, Queensland

Researchers

John Polesel, Jack Keating & Sue Helme

Abstract

The Next Step survey aims at assisting:

  • Parents and the wider public to know the achievements of students and to appreciate the range of options available to students
  • Schools to review and plan their services for students, especially in the senior years of schooling
  • School systems to review their education policies as they affect the transition from school to further study and employment and;
  • Training bodies, universities, business and industry, local government and regional planners to plan their services.

In the first two years of this project, CPELL carried out the analysis of data from the Next Step survey and subsequently prepared reports, including statewide and school-level. These tasks are now managed by the Department of Education and the Arts itself, while CPELL has been engaged to complete tasks at the end of these processes - quality assurance (which involves checking all the analysis) and public reporting through an extensive regional "roadshow'.

Provision and participation: Post-compulsory programs in the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Early Childhood

Researchers

Richard Teese, Sue Helme, Kira Clarke, Nicky Dulfer & Tim Jones

Abstract

This is a study of opportunities for learning in a large and rapidly developing region of Melbourne—the northern suburbs. While diverse, this region has relatively high proportions of young people who are less successful academically. This makes issues of program breadth and accessibility particularly important. Many of the schools in these regions have limited access to “locally raised funds”. As a result, they have less flexibility in resources and less scope to mount comprehensive programs, catering for a broad range of need. The study examines the extent and variety of provision of academic and vocational programs in the region, including the different approaches to delivering programs, e.g., on campus, auspiced delivery, collaboration between schools, school-TAFE links, and distance education. The extent of vocational provision will be examined in the context of local labour markets and skills demand. In addition, the study examines expenditure patterns in both VCE and VET/VCAL programs.

Review of accountabilities and funding of community VCAL programs

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Youth Transitions Division, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), Victoria

Researchers

Veronica Volkoff, Jack Keating, John Polesel, Richard Teese, Stephen Lamb, Tim Jones & Linelle Gibson

Abstract

This study aims to provide an overview and assessment of the effectiveness of existing community VCAL programs including determining the breadth of provision of such programs across Victoria, identifying the community providers involved, assessing the quality of the programs being delivered and identifying best practice and quality assurance processes required in the establishment and running of a community VCAL program. The project will also develop policy recommendations for the future management of community VCAL programs that sit within broader post compulsory provision policy and develop an optimal model for funding of community VCAL programs within the Victorian context. A survey of all government, Catholic and independent schools that provide VCAL is being undertaken.

The equity challenge in Catholic education

Duration

2007 - 2008

Commissioned/funded by

Catholic Education Commission of Victoria

Researchers

Richard Teese, Stephen Lamb, Anne Walstab, John Polesel & Nicky Dulfer

Abstract

Catholic schools in Victoria enrol over 180,000 (FTE) students. The schools are widely distributed across the state and cater for very different mixes of the Victorian population. There is a strong systemic commitment to social justice in student outcomes, which implies high standards for all children, a positive experience of school, and effective post-school transitions. Catholic education aims to achieve these outcomes for all children, regardless of their family background, ethnicity, language or locality.

But how successful are schools in meeting these objectives? While general measures, such as AIM results, retention rates, average ENTER scores and transition to further education or training are all positive indicators of the success of Catholic schools, these mask considerable variations. These variations in outcomes are not random with respect to factors such as socio-economic status, language background, gender, and locality – factors whose influence the Catholic system as whole seeks to reduce or even neutralize in pursuit of fairness to individual children and their families.

Two-way credit between VET and higher education: The minerals sector in Western Australia

Duration

2008

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training (WA)

Researchers

Jack Keating, Kira Clarke & Tim Jones

Abstract

The resources boom has created an acute demand for skilled labour in the minerals sector. The project examined the transfer of students between universities and vocational education and training courses in science and engineering courses in Western Australia. It also examined credit transfer arrangements across universities and the major VET providers and agreements between providers. It provided a set of recommendations for strengthening credit transfer arrangements and the enhancement of education and training pathways into the resources sector.

Vocational and applied learning in Victorian Catholic schools

Duration

2007 - 2008

Commissioned/funded by

Catholic Education Commission of Victoria

Researchers

John Polesel, Richard Teese, & Jack Keating

Abstract

This study is concerned with how VET operates as a major strand in Victorian catholic schools in terms of participation, economic and cultural benefits, and post-school transition for different groups of the school population. It is also concerned with how VET provision is resourced, managed and delivered withing the context of the provision for communities with which schools are located. The final area of this study is the position of the Catholic sector within the wider picture of state and national initiatives and policies in VET and post compulsory schooling.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in schools: Cultural resistance and the academic tradition

Duration

2007 - 2008

Commissioned/funded by

ARC Discovery Project

Researchers

John Polesel, Richard Teese & Jack Keating

Abstract

VET in schools represents one of the most significant curriculum initiatives in secondary schooling in the last ten years. Yet the place of VETin schools remains contested and there has been relatively little research conducted into its effectiveness for different student groups and under different models of delivery. This study seeks to assess whether the rapid and large increase in VET entolments have been accompanied by a real expansion in educational opportunity, as represented by higher rates of school completion, workplace learning, successful post-school transition, and more generic byt difficult to measure benefits. It also seeks to assess the effectiveness of the various models of VET delivery adopted by different state juristictions in Australia

Analysis of factors contributing to apprenticeship and traineeship completion

Duration

2007

Commissioned/funded by

Office of training and Tertiary Education (OTTE), Victoria

Researchers

Veronica Volkoff & Tim Jones

Abstract

Commissioned by the Office of Training and Tertiary Education (OTTE) Victoria, this project investigated the reasons for differences in completion rates of apprenticeships and traineeships between different industries and occupational groups in both metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. In particular, the research explored the contract, employer and provider factors that had been identified in an earlier multivariate analysis as contributing to an individual's likelihood of completing their apprenticeship or traineeship. In addition to analysis of data, interviews were conducted with more than 130 apprentices and trainees, more than 50 VET provider staff and about 40 employers. The study identified that there were some key factors influencing completion rates across apprentice and trainee groups and across industry/occupational groups, in addition to personal reasons such as poor health, family care responsibilities and changes in learners' personal circumstances. These were: inadequate wages; choice of apprenticeship or traineeship without adequate understanding of the requirements of the occupation; poor employer attitudes to training, supervision and support for learning; and inadequate provision of workplace based training.

On Track: The destinations of school leavers in Victoria. The class of 2006

Duration

2007

Commissioned/funded by

The Department of Education and Training

Researchers

John Polesel, Richard Teese & Kira Clarke

Abstract

The 2007 statewide survey showed a continuing high level of transition from Year 12 to education and training, including higher rates of enrolment in university. At the same time, the survey confirmed that achievement exercises a major influence over destinations. The stronger the level of a student's achievement the more likely they are to enter the institutional sector of education and training - i.e., tertiary education. By contrast, as achievement falls, reliance on the labour market increases. The lowest achievers have the highest rates of unemployment and also of part-time employment and are the least likely to be in training.

Setting the scene: Investigating learning outcomes with a view to the future

Duration

2006 - 2007

Commissioned/funded by

Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board, Victoria

Researchers

Veronica Volkoff & Anne Walstab

Abstract

This project was commissioned by the ACFE Board Victoria to objectively inform and advise the priority setting of the Board. In particular, its role was to inform the Board's major review of its directions with the aim of better understanding the contribution of the Adult Community Education (ACE) sector to the economic and social sustainability of Victoria, particularly in rural regions. The study undertook a contextual analysis of Victorian and national human capital development policy, Victorian and national ACE policy, relevant Australian and international research on community based adult education, educational attainment and lifelong learning. The research also involved detailed analysis and matching of 2005 VET student participation data with ACE program and student priorities. The strengths of Victorian ACE provision, the challenges that face ACE providers and learners and potential areas in need of further investigation were identified.

Student Resource Package (SRP): Rolling benchmark for stage-of-schooling relativities

Duration

2007

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Researchers

Stephen Lamb, Richard Teese, Kira Clarke, Anne Walstab, Tim Jones & Sue Helme

Abstract

The Victorian Government funds public primary and secondary schools through core and supplementary programs. Core funding is mainly through a per-student price. This is adjusted to reflect priorities, e.g., smaller class sizes in early primary and Reading Recovery in Year 1. This approach was first implemented for the period 2005-2007, with a commitment to examine the “stage weights” (stage-of-schooling relativities) at the end of that period. In 2007 the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development commissioned CPELL to undertake research into the operation of the funding model. The researchers collected data on a random sample of 83 primary and secondary schools, and analysed expenditure and achievement patterns in these schools. On the basis of the research findings, recommendations were made to government to adjust the stage weights so as to ensure that resources were targeted to stages of schooling which promised the maximum benefit in terms of student achievement and engagement.

VET in School pathways: Class of 2006

Duration

2007

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Researchers

John Polesel & Richard Teese

Abstract

  • Enrolments in the VET in Schools program have continued to grow. VCAA data indicates that over 95,000 students were enrolled in 2006.
  • The 2006 cohort - the subject of this study was made up of 26,811 students enrolled in Year 11 (up from 25,762 in 2006) and 9,693 students in Year 12 (increasing from 8,715 in 2006).
  • The participation rate of male students was higher than that of female students in both Years 11 and 12.
  • VET in Schools enrolment rates were highest in non-metropolitan Victoria and in regions with a low socio-economic profile, e.g. the northern suburbs of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.
  • The number of certificates offered in the VET in Schools program in 2006 was 297.
  • The number of providers offering VET in Schools programs rose from 503 in 2003 to 536 in 2006.
  • The number of VET in Schools students with study score enrolments in 2006 was 6.883.

Vocational Education and Training (VET): University sector two-way credit and articulation pathways project

Duration

2007

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training (WA)

Researchers

Jack Keating & Richard Teese

Abstract

The resources boom has created an acute demand for skilled labour in the minerals sector. The project examined the transfer of students between universities and vocational education and training courses in science and engineering courses in Western Australia. It also examined credit transfer arrangements across universities and the major VET providers and agreements between providers.

It provided a set of recommendations for strengthening credit transfer arrangements and the enhancement of education and training pathways into the resources sector.

ACE longitudinal project (2003-2006): Stage 3

Duration

2003 - 2006

Commissioned/funded by

ACFE Division of the Department of Education and Training

Researchers

Richard Teese, Anne Walstab & Veronica Volkoff

Abstract

This is stage three of a three year research project designed to identify the benefits of ACE to key groups of clients, increase the profile of the ACE sector and provide strong research data to support the case for increased government funding for ACE programs. The project with obtain a fuller picture of the sector’s “community reach” by analysing individual student characteristics and relative participation, and comparing this with the census characteristics of each region.

A well-skilled future: Tailoring VET to the emerging labour market (ANTA Objective 1 research program)

Duration

2005 - 2006

Commissioned/funded by

Funded by ANTA and administered through NCVER to run through to end of 2006.

Researchers

Richard Teese, Jack Keating, Stephen Lamb, Anne Walstab, Veronica Volkoff & Kira Clarke

Consortium

In collaboration with the National Institute of Labour Studies, Flinders University, South Australia

Abstract

The NILS-CPELL consortium was selected from a large, nationally competitive field for its innovative approach and the track records of partners in economic and vocational education research. CPELL’s contribution involves mapping VET participation across Australia, identifying barriers to participation, examining the operation of the VET sector in range of regional settings, studying the responsiveness of the sector, and documenting the forecasting and planning processes use in VET sectors across Australia and overseas. In 2005, CPELL undertook program 5 of the overall project - ‘Understanding VET’s current and adaptive capacity’, which considers how VET already has systems for the identification of emerging skill shortages and under-represented groups. These will be evaluated in the light of the conclusions being derived from Programs 1-4. The aim of this program is to investigate the responsiveness of the VET sector to the twin imperatives of changing industry and individual needs, including the ways in which these are experienced in different community settings.

Circles of professional research practice: A community studies approach to researching strategic issues in ACE

Duration

2005 - 2006

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training (DET) Victoria for ACFEB

Researchers

Anne Walstab & Veronica Volkoff

Consortium

Preston Reservoir ACE organisation

Abstract

This project is designed to provide opportunities fro ACE organisations and practitioners to raise their awareness of relevant research, to reflect on and apply research outcomes to their own situations and to develop good research practice applicable in ACE operational settings.

Next Step (The destinations of Year 12 school leavers in Queensland)

Duration

2006

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and the Arts, Queensland

Researchers

Richard Teese, John Polesel, Sue Helme, Tanya Nicholas & Kira Clarke

Abstract

The Next Step survey is aimed at assisting:

  • Parents and the wider public to know the achievements of students and to appreciate the range of options available to students
  • Schools to review and plan their services for students, especially in the senior years of schooling
  • School systems to review their education policies as they affect the transition from school to further study and employment and;
  • Training bodies, universities, business and industry, local government and regional planners to plan their services.

The survey, commissioned by the Queensland DE&A as part of the School Reporting initiatives, supports the State Government’s Education and Training Reforms for the Future (ETRF), which aim to have every young person learning or earning.

On Track 2005: The destinations of school leavers in Victoria

Duration

2006

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Researchers

Richard Teese, John Polesel, Tanya Nicholas & Sue Helme

Abstract

Since the first large-scale study in 2003, more than 100,000 post-compulsory school leavers have participated in the On Track survey, providing valuable insight into their post-schooling destinations and pathways the year following their exit from their education provider. Through their participation in this survey, respondents have facilitated our understanding of the many factors which today play a role in navigating young individuals towards a range of post-compulsory outcomes, and which lend assistance to successful transitions into education, training and employment pathways.

On Track is designed to provide a valuable tool for guiding program policies both at the government and school level and at a local or regional level. It enables schools to monitor how their students fare in a context of rapid labour market change and complex educational pathways. It is thus possible for schools to see, for example, how many exiting students are working, but also undertaking training, and how many are in tertiary study, but also have a job.

On Track also collects background information on students, so that the destinations of particular sub-groups can be considered – for example, those of Indigenous students. Transition differences between regions in Victoria are also documented. This information is valuable not only for schools, but also for the Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN), regions, VET providers, particularly TAFE institutes and for government agencies.

2005: Alternative mechanisms to encourage individual contributions to Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

NCVER

Researchers

Sandra Haukka, Jack Keating & Stephen Lamb

Abstract

This study identifies, describes and evaluates the range of mechanisms that attract individual investment in vocational education and training and other post-compulsory education in Australia and overseas. A summary report forms a chapter in NCVER’s Funding and financing vocational education and training: Research Readings (Edited by Katrina Ball).

2005: Community Strengthening: Department of Education and Training’s contribution: Phase One report

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Researchers

Jennifer McKinley, Kate Mason & Kira Clarke

Abstract

Part of the Victoria Department of Education and Training’s (DE&T) policy framework for embedding ’Community Strengthening’ into its business processes, procedures and planning - a broad project – Community Strengthening – DE&T’s Contribution.

2005: Destination and satisfaction survey of 2004 HSC VET students in NSW

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, NSW

Researchers

John Polesel, Richard Teese, Stephen Lamb, Sue Helme, Tanya Nicholas & Kira Clarke

Abstract

This major survey tracked over 6,000 HSC government school students from the 2004 Year 12 cohort. This study was undertaken to determine the value to students of VET in Schools programs in New South Wales, given that the number of students undertaking VET subjects as part of their HSC has increased dramatically in recent years. Almost 54,000 NSW students in Years 11 and 12 enrolled in one or more HSC VET subjects in 2004, representing 35% of the total number of students. For the first time in this state, a controlled study of HSC VET and non-VET graduates has been conducted to identify their work and study destinations, and measure their satisfaction with VET in Schools subjects.

2005: Effective TAFE, ACE and Private provider delivery to young people, 15-24 years old

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Researchers

Veronica Volkoff, Jack Keating, Anne Walstab & Beth Marr

Abstract

The project arises out of advice provided by Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) to the Victorian Learning and Employment Skills Commission (VLESC) on issues impacting on young people’s education and training across a number of LLENs. One issue identified was a concern with the degree of access available for young people to alternative pathways, including TAFE Institutes, and with the monitoring and success of young people taking up these pathways. The VLESC has included in its work program two research projects to provide advice relevant to this concern – the ‘Planning for Provision of Vocational Education and Training for Young People’ and ‘Effective TAFE/ACE/private provider delivery to 15-24 year old cohort’.

2005: Governance models in educational provision: Victoria’s Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN) 2004-2005

Duration

2004 - 2005

Commissioned/funded by

Funded in part by ARC Linkages Grant

Researchers

Lyn Robinson & Jack Keating

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the workings of the LLEN as vehicles of policy co-ordination in the many, very different settings where they have been established.

2005: Koorie experiences of qualifications and pathways in VET: Obstacles or opportunities?

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Victorian Qualifications Authority

Researchers

Sue Helme, John Polesel & Tanya Nicholas

Abstract

This study was commissioned by the Victorian Qualifications Authority and was undertaken to understand the actual VET experiences of current and former Koorie students within the context of their needs and future aspirations, and identify strategies to improve their qualifications and employment outcomes.

2005: On Track 2004: The destinations of school leavers in Victoria

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Researchers

Richard Teese & John Polesel

Abstract

The On Track project was conceived and designed by CPELL to help the Victorian government gain a very detailed picture of destinations and motives, and to assist schools and Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN) with an accurate and comprehensive picture. In 2003 – the first full year of the project – approximately 41,000 school leavers were reached through the telephone survey. In 2004 a similar number of young people provided information on their destinations.

2005: On Track 2005: The destinations of 2003 school leavers two years on

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Researchers

Richard Teese & John Polesel

Abstract

This report present results from the longitudinal survey undertaken as part of the Victorian On Track survey of school leavers. The purpose of the longitudinal component is to follow samples of Victorian school leavers over a five year period, to enable more in-depth analysis of pathways from school to further study and work. This report examines the activities and experiences of cohort of 2003 school leavers in the second year out from school.

2005: Qualifications use for recruitment in the Australian labour market

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

ANTA

Researchers

Jack Keating, Tanya Nicholas, John Polesel & Jocelyn Watson

Abstract

The study examined the use made in recruitment (external and internal) processes by employers of qualifications. This was through an interview based survey of 359 employers across Australia. The survey attempted to locate the use of qualifications within recruitment searching and decision making processes, the information that is carried by qualifications, the relevance and value of this information within selection criteria and the degree of trust that employers vest in qualifications.

2005: Raising expectations: Improving student retention in NSW

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, NSW

Researchers

Sue Helme, John Polesel, Richard Teese, Tanya Nicholas & Anne Walstab

Abstract

This study examined the conditions for effective learning and personal growth that underpin quality retention, and sought to identify the factors that promote and frustrate retention in schools serving high concentrations of students from low socio-economic status backgrounds. It aimed to identify the key reasons for non-completion, and the characteristics of schools that create the conditions for retention. Eighteen schools receiving Priority Schools Funding Program (PSFP) funding participated in the project.

2005: Student Resource Package (SRP) for Non-traditional locations

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and Training, Victoria

Researchers

Jack Keating, Stephen Lamb & Kira Clarke

Abstract

The University of Melbourne was commissioned by the Department of Education and Training (DET) to provide advice on the development of a resource allocation model for 65 non-traditional settings. These settings are made up of schools that differ from the standard P-6, 7-12 and P-12 schools that have been funded under the Student Resource Package (SRP). A sample of 28 of the 65 schools was selected and audits of the internal resource allocations of these schools were undertaken using Excel software provided by DE&T. The audits traced the allocation of core funding to each year level and to each of the campuses, where relevant.

2005: The destinations of Year 12 2004 leavers in Queensland

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Department of Education and the Arts, Queensland

Researchers

John Polesel, Sue Helme & Richard Teese

Abstract

The report, Next Step, documents the results of the first statewide survey of the destinations of students completing Year 12 across Queensland in 2004, in state and non-state schools. The survey shows the initial study and work destinations of young people after leaving school.

2005: Victorian Qualifications Authority (VQA): October monitoring report

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

Victorian Qualifications Authority

Researchers

Jack Keating, Kira Clarke & John Polesel

Abstract

This report provides an overview of recent national and international developments in qualifications and pathways. Its purpose is to identify areas of tensions and contestation in qualifications and pathways policy and innovation, and to briefly explore the implications for Victorian and Australian qualifications and pathways stakeholders. The information for the report has been drawn from a detailed environmental scan of national and international data sources. These sources include the national, state and territory qualifications and education authorities in Australia, the main international education and training agencies and national agencies in a selection of other countries.

2005: Youth learning officers model evaluation

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

OPCET, Tasmania

Researchers

Veronica Volkoff, Anne Walstab, Jack Keating & Kira Clarke

Abstract

This project was designed to provide an evaluation of the 2004-2005 implementation of the Youth Learning Officer (YLO) model. The evaluation was to be undertaken through a mixed strategy of formative and summative evaluation. The methodology included a review of program documentation, fieldwork and interviews.

Course completion and instructional experience in TAFE

Duration

2005

Commissioned/funded by

NCVER

Researchers

John Polesel, Merryn Davies & Richard Teese

Abstract

The aim of this study was to find out how students experience technical and further education (TAFE) from the point of view of the learning experience, and what factors influence them to continue or discontinue their studies.