UQ project aims to strengthen relationships between schools and communities.
UQ project aims to strengthen relationships between schools and communities.
26 May 2014

Student performance on tests should not be the only criteria for judging schools, according to a University of Queensland-led project in Bundaberg, Childers and Gin Gin.

The PETRA project (Pursuing Equity Through Rich Accountabilities), which began work with Wide Bay-Burnett schools in in 2011, aims to strengthen connections between schools and communities, increase student engagement and improve student outcomes.

The project’s research manager Dr Aspa Baroutsis said PETRA offered exciting possibilities for people to think about what counts at school and what makes a difference for students and their communities.

“Members of the project team have spent the past 18 months talking to groups of students, parents, teachers and principals from the Bundaberg area, as well as employers, school volunteers, community service workers and other members of the community,” Dr Baroutsis said.

“These conversations have resulted in each group providing ‘rich accounts’ of how young people engage with and succeed in schooling.

 “The next step is a meeting on May 30 that will, for the first time, bring together all the stakeholder groups from the various schools and communities to further discuss how education systems, schools, students, families and community members can work together in developing teaching and learning that makes a difference for students in schools of regional Queensland.

“Such rich conversations provide a richer picture of what ought to count in schools.”

“It will also provide the university researchers with the opportunity to share their preliminary findings from the PETRA project with the various communities.

Funded by the Australian Research Council, the project is a partnership between The University of Queensland, Victoria University and the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment.

The PETRA project is holding a meeting in Bundaberg on Friday 30 May at the Brothers Sports Club, with invited members of schools and communities in the area.

Media: Dr Aspa Baroutsis, 07 3365 6826, a.baroutsis@uq.edu.au

              Dr Sam Sellar, 07 3365 6497, sam.sellar@uq.edu.au

              Professor Bob Lingard, 07 3365 7343, 0422 893 186, r.lingard@uq.edu.au

              Lesley Whitteker, 07 3365 2631, l.whitteker@uq.edu.au