Education is critical to people’s life chances, yet many disadvantaged people in our community continue to miss out on quality education, training and access to lifelong learning.
Australia has well-established education and training infrastructure but not all children and young people can access high quality early childhood, primary and secondary education. Many who face structural or family barriers struggle to successfully engage in education and, as a result, leave school early with no clear pathway to employment.
The vocational education and training system is a pathway of choice for many disadvantaged learners. However course completion rates for these students can be low and many struggle to find work.
Our research on inclusive education examines the theories, policies and programs that enable children, young people, adults and older people to access education and training that develops their skills and capabilities. We examine the causal links between disadvantage and educational outcomes, and the structural and individual factors that promote equitable and successful engagement in education. We also identify and develop innovative, flexible policy and program solutions that enable lifelong learning and social and economic participation.
Our research program is structured around the stages of schooling: the early years, primary and secondary schooling, vocational and training.
Project REAL design and evaluation
Addressing the exclusion of primary students with challenging behaviours.
Shedding light: private RTO training for young early school leavers
This study examines the role of private registered training organisations in delivering training to young learners who have left school early.
Gauging the value of flexible learning optionsAustralia faces a pressing need for quality flexible learning programs to cater for the increasing number of young people who are disengaging from schooling at an early age.
Recruitment and retention of families in the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY)
National evaluation of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) 2009–2011
Families at the centre: negotiating Australia's mixed market in early education and care
Developing Independence evaluationDeveloping Independence is a certificate course to help residents of youth foyers to develop their personal vision and re-engage with learning, employment and community life.
Engaging young early school leavers in vocational training
Early years transitions: supporting children and families at risk of experiencing vulnerability, rapid literature review published by the Victorian Department of Education and Training
Supporting transitions for young jobseekers: a resource for program development in south-east Melbourne by Chisholm and Holmesglen TAFEs
'Educational re-engagement as social inclusion: the role of flexible learning options in alternative provision in Australia', article by George Myconos, Joseph Thomas, Kimberley Wilson, Kitty te Riele and Luke Swain
Shedding light: private ‘for profit’ training providers and young early school leavers
Recruiting and retaining families in HIPPY
A study of factors that affect the recruitment of families in an early childhood learning and parenting program.
Investing in our future: an evaluation of the national rollout of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY)
Developing Independence: evaluating an educational initiative for young people facing homelessness.A study of two pilots of the Developing Independence certificate 1 course.
Contact Eric Dommers (03) 9483 1370 or edommers(at)bsl.org.au to find out more about this work.
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.
Acknowledgement of country
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.