Personalised Learning Plans in NSW
In 2004 the NSW Government conducted a Review
of Aboriginal Education
As a result of this review 72 recommendations were
The development of Personalised Learning Plans
was on of these recommendations
Goal of the
Review of Aboriginal Education NSW
By 2012, Aboriginal student outcomes will match or better
outcomes of the broader student population
Effective Teaching Effective Learning
Deep knowledge Aboriginal Education environment
Policy Explicit quality criteria
Higher-order thinking PLPs Social support
Significance Student direction
In your table groups list:
On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate where your
school is at with the implementation of PLPs?
Three positive things about PLPs
Three challenging things about PLPs
Is there a difference between PLPs and
Data analysis Student engagement
LST Planning process
Goals, strategies Goals, strategies
Health plans Parent, student, teacher meetings
Funding Ongoing process
Student ownership of learning
Teachers understanding of
Evaluation and monitoring
Knowledge of student/family
Student engagement backgrounds
Learning Support Team Monitoring
A personalised approach to learning will:
• Ensure Aboriginal student engagement in education
• Provide support to personalise learning outcomes for Aboriginal students
• Develop and foster the home/school partnership
• Ensure there is an agreed on-going process between key stakeholders
• Foster a strong sense of personal identity as successful learners and
• Aboriginal students are engaged in learning that is personally rewarding
• All stakeholders can collaborate and strive to meet the educational needs of
• Require review meetings on a regular basis
PLPs ensure learning activities are appropriate to
the students’ learning needs.
• Teachers and parents know that in education one size does not fit all.
• Students have individual strengths, needs and aspirations, and PLPs will
assist us to support and guide students in their learning, achievements
• The evidence is clear on what works in education:
Having high expectations of students
High quality teachers
• A school culture that promotes and celebrates student achievements and
opens up opportunities for students is essential for the effective learning
of all students
• Students are engaged with, and have a real voice in their learning.
are based on relationships
engage parents and carers
Parents and carers of Aboriginal students want….
• Teachers to have an awareness and understanding of cultural
issues impacting on Aboriginal students in their class
• High expectations for their children
• Their children engaged in their learning and making connections
with learning and life experiences
• A positive school/home partnership
• Their children valued and to learn in a supportive and
challenging learning environment
• Learning to be explicit and systematic
PLPs provide Aboriginal students with ownership of
their learning and enhance their ability to achieve high
• Students need to know why, and have an understanding that,
their learning matters
• Students need to see the connections between learning and
themselves as an individual
• Teachers need to ensure that lessons are linked to prior
knowledge, cultural backgrounds, families and communities
• Teachers need to have a knowledge of the students cognitive,
social and cultural background
• There must be positive interaction between the student and
Things a teacher needs to consider for PLPs
• Student details e.g. family background, attendance, awards, class, home
contacts, welfare/discipline issues
• PLPs are an exercise in getting to know students and their families
• The PLP process involves a sharing of intent, expectation and aspiration
• Medical information: allergies, asthma, vision, hearing etc.
• Access to student support e.g. In Class Tutor, Behaviour Support, STL, AEO
• Ensure the PLP is a user friendly document
• Providing parents with prior knowledge of what the PLP process involves and
why it is important for their child to have a PLP
• Quality Teaching = Quality results for all
Culture Learning Leadership
Relationships Walking with
Respect – know
the students and
Identity their families
Knowledge of Child and
PLP Pre-Implementation Phase!
Form a PLP school team to investigate PLP’s
Establish commitment of the school community (may need to consider
Aboriginal Cultural Respect Training for stakeholders)
Provide professional development training regarding PLP’s for staff,
students and community
Professional learning of staff in the interview technique (importance of
‘wait time’), developing trust, team building and the PLP process
Investigate and develop organisational structure, focusing on
leadership, sustainability, relief, accommodation, storage systems etc.
Canvas and select appropriate learning advisors/mentors
Identify where to access support, resources, information, community
The principal needs to believe that PLPs are important – leadership is
pivotal to the success of the PLP process!
Don’t rush the introduction of PLPs – take your time and ensure that
they will work!!!!!!!!!!
PLP Implementation Phase!
What do we want out of our parent/student/teacher interviews?
Where does the qualitative data sit?
How do we format the PLPs? (electronically, files, access)
How and when will meetings be arranged?
PLPs need to focus on positives and strengths of students!
How will we deal with students having no goals, strange goals,
Develop a code of conduct for students, parents and staff!
How public is this document?
How often are the PLPs reviewed and how will this be organised?
Plan celebration times for students who achieve personal best!
Initially take the easiest path e.g. target successful students and
parents who will be involved – you don’t want this to fail!!!!
What happens to the PLP? e.g. transitioning to high school etc.
PLP Post-Implementation Phase!
• Identify the associated initiatives that may compliment PLPs:
Parent/teacher evenings where PLPs can be discussed!
3 way conferencing format – reports, P & T evenings
• Evaluation format – How do we know PLPs are working?
Qualitative short term observational and survey data
Quantitative long term statistics (internal and external trends)
• Plan for sustainability through leadership capacity, resourcing,
skills development and a commitment to continual
• Schools need to develop a PLP process that suits their school
‘One size does not fit all’
• PLPs will, and need to, evolve!
In a nutshell…..
The process has to be positive and achievable
It must be non-threatening for parents and students and not a burden for
Don’t get caught up in to much educational jargon or student data, it’s the
relationship building which is most important
Determine and agree on 2 maybe 3 achievable goals
Document information which is disclosed during the interview/s
Respect cultural perspectives
Identify strategies for parents, the school and the student to strengthen the
Document the process
Monitor and evaluate the process
Keep parents informed of what is happening in their child’s learning
The Ashmont Public School
Ashmont PS is a PP3 in Wagga Wagga, NSW
School population of 340 with 138 Aboriginal students
One fulltime AEO and 2 AEWs
Low socio-economic area and the school is on the
Priority Schools Program
Schools in Partnership – 2006 to 2009
Ashmont Public School
• Trial implementation
• 6 students selected from each class
• 3 Aboriginal and 3 non-Aboriginal students
• Full implementation
• All students involved in the process
• Full implementation
• All students involved in the process
Building genuine partnerships with our community
Breaking down barriers
Maintaining high expectations of student learning
Positive teacher professional dialogue
Identifying areas of student need
Establishing student specific teaching and learning
Aligning all key stakeholders
Lowering student absence rates
Aligning personalised learning with focuses on Quality
Greater focus on teacher professional development
Providing opportunities on a regular basis to continue
strengthening the rapport between the school and
Engaging parents at meetings and other school activities
Aboriginal student outcomes in literacy and numeracy
have improved and are above the state average for
Aboriginal students (BST 2007 and NAPLAN 2008)
Teachers talking informally to parents outside school
hours at extra curricular activities e.g. weekend football
Staff talking more positively about students
Improving communication between school and home
Convincing all staff that PLPs are worthwhile
Communicating the PLP philosophy to all stakeholders
Whole of staff professional development on the PLP process and
Identifying and developing the Learning Advisors (high schools)
Maintaining the enthusiasm of both the parents and staff
Running to a schedule
Time for teachers to fit it all in
Minimising classroom interruptions
Ensuring stage appropriate outcomes
Transferring PLPs form one educational setting to another e.g.
primary school to junior high school to senior high school
Principal and executive must be involved in the process to ensure
PLPs become part of whole school culture
Senior executive involvement in PLPs will foster sustainability
PLPs and DEEWR’s agenda!
Assistant Director, National Projects Team
Implementation Strategy Branch, Indigenous Group
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
GPO BOX 9880 Canberra City, ACT 2601
Phone (02) 6240 9441
Fax (02) 6123 7147
Mobile 0418 670 704
PLP = Personalised Learning Plan
Or could it be?
PLP = Partnerships Lifting
Presentation by Mark Crouch
NSW Dare To Lead Coordinator