Social change through education

Fogarty EDvance, a non-profit, is improving education in socially disadvantaged communities in Western Australia by transforming schools, with school leaders positioned to oversee and facilitate effective teaching.

Many developed nations are struggling to overcome educational inequality. Apart from the moral imperative to make a quality education available to all children, the follow-on effects of poor academic outcomes—including an increased burden on health and criminal justice systems—are costly to society. Australia’s Public Education Foundation calculated that the monetary cost of the country’s increase in educational inequality from 2009 to 2015 was equivalent to 1.2 percent of GDP.1 Fifty percent of young people in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia are not enrolled in school or working, compared with only 13 percent of young people from more affluent backgrounds.

In Western Australia, the nonprofit Fogarty Foundation created the Fogarty EDvance initiative, which is on the cusp of bringing transformation at scale and creating a model that can help bridge the inequality gap in education. EDvance launched a three-year pilot program that aimed to support school leadership teams, principals, and their deputies in building more effective teaching and learning practices. The program is anchored in the idea that school transformation requires teams to lead the way, and it uses existing best practices from tested research in Australia and around the world.

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