Department of Education Evaluation of the Compressed Curriculum

The Department’s Centre for Education, Statistics and Evaluation is undertaking a review of the Compressed Curriculum in 2018. This review is largely in response to the Federation’s request that an evaluation of this model of HSC delivery be evaluated.

All school principals have recently been surveyed; initially with a survey being forwarded to all schools with Stage 6 pupils.

Principals were asked if they are currently implementing the Compressed Curriculum model. They were also asked to give reasons as to why they chose to deliver their stage 6 courses via a Compressed Curriculum model or, alternatively, why they may have reverted back to a traditional two-year curriculum delivery model.

On 6 August, a meeting was held to inform stakeholders of the Quantitative Analysis Plan being used to analyse the data. There was a 50 per cent response rate from public, Catholic and Association of Independent Schools of NSW schools.

A comprehensive analysis of the principal survey is to be provided at the next meeting in week 1 of term 4.

The results from the survey will be used to group schools into one of three categories:

  • fully compressed
  • partially compressed
  • traditional delivery.

An outcome evaluation will then attempt to estimate the impact of the Compressed Curriculum delivery model on a range of student outcomes, including:

  • HSC completions
  • retention to Year 11 and Year 12
  • ATAR eligibility
  • number of units studied.

A teachers’ survey is to be conducted at the end of term 3. This survey will be completed by teachers who are currently teaching at a school operating (or having previously operated) a Compressed Curriculum model.

Stakeholders at the meeting were critical of the draft teacher survey which appeared to present more positive than negative statements to be ranked. The suggestion from stakeholders, that the teachers’ survey include more open-ended responses, was noted.

Semi-structured interviews will also be conducted with principals and teachers as to their school’s motivation and the implementation process. Semi-structured interviews will also be conducted with students who have attended schools offering the Compressed Curriculum.

Members are encouraged to promote their school’s participation in the evaluation process.

Mary Fogarty Research/Industrial Officer