In response to the ever-changing landscape and to promote a holistic approach to long-term change, Beacon Systems Change was established in 2017. Beacon Systems Change is part of Beacon Foundation’s broader vision to create an Australia that is equipped to support young people, generation after generation.
Collective ed. is a place-based initiative hosted by Beacon Foundation with the goal of increasing Year 12 attainment and meaningful pathways for young people across six communities in Tasmania. Tasmania’s young people have significantly lower levels of education and training attainment than the rest of the country and the highest proportion of people with no schooling past year 10. Collective ed. i places community collaboration at the centre to drive change and support young people to thrive.
Collective ed. is a five year initiative between 2017-2021 and funded by the Tasmanian Government (Department of Education and the Department of State Growth) and the Paul Ramsay Foundation.
In 2017, Collective ed. commenced as an initiative delivering a comprehensive offering of Beacon programs. During the early days of Collective ed. the importance of connecting education with the wider community and bringing industry stakeholders together to work towards the common goals became apparent. In 2018 the initiative addressed this need by exploring the application of a collective impact methodology to look at barriers preventing young people from achieving the Collective ed. goals. Over time, this evolved to a more general place-based approach. This approach engages with the school as well as local community to focus on the goals of Collective ed.
Deloraine High School Principal David Lietzau shares his experience working alongside Collective ed.
Collective ed. has gone on a journey starting out with a simple model of change focusing on schools and pathways to jobs, to now identifying and seeking to shift the systems that prevent young people from achieving their education and career aspirations.
Collective ed. has set out to achieve a minimum of 90% of young people complete year 12 or equivalent and to support students transition into meaningful pathways after school. Ambitious? Perhaps. But our youth deserve it. We want young people to thrive. Collective ed. is doing this through:
- Community collaboration
- School centred change
- State-wide collective action
Why does our work matter?
Not all young people are born with the same opportunities, yet we expect all schools and students to have the same ability to perform, complete year 12 and move straight into the workforce. Postcodes and family backgrounds impact the opportunities available to students from pre-school to adulthood. The difference is stark, about one in four (25%) students from a low socio-economic background will not complete year 12. Compare that to 14% if you are a student from a high socio-economic area [Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). 2018. Year 12 Certification Rates]. At Beacon we don’t think that is fair.
Tasmania’s young people have significantly lower levels of education and training attainment than the rest of the country. We have the highest proportion of people in Australia with no schooling past year 10. The challenge is a persistent one, with Tasmania’s year 12 completion rate still 20 percentage points lower than the national average [Premier’s Economic & Social Recovery Advisory Council Interim Report, July 2020]
One of the key challenges of this low educational attainment is that it is a major driver of youth unemployment . Young people without year 12 attainment are twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a diploma or higher qualification [Ibid.]. Beacon Foundation works in less advantaged communities where young people are most vulnerable to make sure all young people in Australia can have a bright future.
A Data Driven Approach
Unique to Collective ed. is our approach to evaluation. We engage in developmental evaluation which includes ongoing data collection and analysis throughout the initiative. This is different to traditional evaluation which usually takes place in the middle of a project and at the end. Instead, we evaluate the initiative on an ongoing basis to ensure we are continuously moving closer to our goal of long-term systems change.
The Collective ed. Network
Collective ed. includes six communities across Tasmania, these are –
- Jordan River
- Central Coast
- Meander Valley
- George Town
Each community has team members working ‘on the ground’ with communities to support collaborative systems change. Together, we work directly with schools, community, industry, and young people to support them to achieve our mutual goals.
Collective ed. continues to put young people first, act with equity, collaborate, engage community and to continuously learn in order to leave a legacy behind for Tasmania that we can all be proud of.
Collective ed. Sorell launched Action Crew 7172 with the students.