15 December 1997

The University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle have won a $1.3 million contract to undertake a study of Queensland's Leading Schools Program over the next three years.

The study, which will be based at the University of Queensland's Graduate School of Education, will look at the impact of school-based reform on student outcomes.

Graduate School of Education head Professor Allan Luke said the joint team had won the contract with Education Queensland after a competitive tendering process.

It is the largest social sciences research contract awarded in Education Queensland's history.

'The Leading Schools reform program is the single largest reconstruction of Queensland schools ever undertaken, and we will be providing a three-year running evaluation across the state,' he said.

Research team members are Professor Luke, Associate Professor Bob Lingard and Professor David Chant of the University of Queensland, and Dr Jim Ladwig and Associate Professor Jennifer Gore of the University of Newcastle.

'About 700 Queensland schools will be involved in the Leading Schools Program,' Professor Luke said.

'We will be surveying about 300 schools and closely studying about 24. The principal focus of our study will be the impact the program has on students, teachers and communities, and their everyday lives.

'We will be using innovative ways of discerning the impact on peoples' lives and children's achievements rather than the conventional measures used in the past,' he said.

'We hope to be able to advise which classroom practices, school organisational arrangements and system-wide supports contribute to improved learning outcomes for all students.'

For more information, contact Professor Luke (telephone 3365 6227).