Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation

Publication Date



Schools across Australia are increasingly connecting and engaging with community groups to create opportunities for their students. From marine parks to art galleries, radio stations to local councils, aged care to football clubs, neighbourhood houses to garden centres, the possibilities for collaboration are endless. Schools are reaching out into the broader community to build exciting and innovative relationships that are designed to have a positive impact on student learning.

This report describes some of the ways that schools and community groups are collaborating using information contained in Impact Award applications submitted by schools in 2010 and 2011. The NAB Schools First national awards program has been operating since 2009. By 2011, over 25 per cent of all schools in Australia had applied for an award. The most obvious sign of school interest in the program is the number of applications received each year for either an Impact or Seed Funding Award. Schools have also participated in a range of other activities run in conjunction with the Awards, such as workshops, forums and the annual national conference.

The purpose of this report is to share the findings from ACER’s analysis of the 627 Impact Award applications from 2010 and 2011 so that other Australian schools and communities can benefit.