In September 2015, MATSITI engaged an external evaluation panel to review the effectiveness of the MATSITI initiative and partnerships arising from the project, led by
- Mr Peter Johnson, formerly Executive Director, People and Services, NSW Department of Education and Communities
- Professor Brenda Cherednichenko, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Arts & Education, Deakin University and former President, Australian Council of Deans of Education
- Professor Mark Rose, Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy, La Trobe University
The MATSITI Evaluation Final Report is now available for download.
The scope of the evaluation comprised:
progress of workforce reforms designed to increase the number and capacity of Indigenous teachers by schooling authorities and teacher education providers;
the effectiveness and impact of the MATSITI initiative, and effectiveness of the models of workforce interventions through the 57 partnership agreements; and
recommendations for future Indigenous teacher employment reforms and targets.
The evaluation also referred to the criteria which were specific to each of the partnership projects when analysing the effectiveness of those projects or groups of projects.
The Evaluation Panel found that successful engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the teaching profession is an essential contributor to great educational success for children and young people and their families and communities.
It also identified the following factors contributed to successful projects which aim to increase the number and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers in the profession:
- the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the leadership of initiatives and projects;
connectedness of initiatives to wider influences such as school systems, universities, governments and communities;
- sustained engagement and commitment to supporting the project over a number of years so that they can become embedded practices;
‘one off’ projects have a limited impact but when well defined and connected can shift understanding and practices for the future;
- clear project deliverables aimed at attraction, retention and success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers in preservice education and the profession and leadership roles which can be reported accountably;
- awareness raising and development of cultural competence accompanied by goals for shifts in practices and outcomes; and
- significant in-kind contributions of partners in projects, not only a sign of their commitment, but may be leveraged to embed practices for the future as normal operations.
In addition to these findings, initiatives in all States and Territories generated a significant body of materials including research papers, profiles of successful Indigenous teachers, conference presentations and teacher workforce plans and strategies.
The Evaluation Panel is of the view that the evidence and lessons learned over the past four years should be capitalised upon for a more informed and targeted focus in future with the extension of the MATSITI initiative for a further four year period, 2016-2019.
The report provides 14 recommendations for governments, school jurisdictions, universities, teacher regulators and unions.