School and system improvement

Publication Date



School improvement, Frameworks, Student engagement, Wellbeing, Whole school approach


This literature review outlines the evidence that underpins the development of a set of evidence-informed elaborations, or specific practices, that support student engagement and wellbeing across the 9 domains of the National School Improvement Tool (NSIT). These observable, measurable practices to support student engagement and wellbeing have been developed from a review of relevant literature in the areas of socio-emotional learning (SEL), health and wellbeing, student engagement and a sense of belonging, and motivations for engagement. They also take account of commissioned research reports by the Queensland Department of Education and the Department's (2018) approach to student learning and wellbeing across the whole school: creating safe, supportive, and inclusive environments; building the capability of staff, students and the school community; and developing strong systems for early intervention. The Department of Education Queensland engaged the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to elaborate the evidence underpinning the National School Improvement Tool (NSIT) as it relates to student wellbeing and engagement to produce a set of related practices or elaborations to support schools to improve their practice. The overarching research questions were: How do student engagement, wellbeing and learning outcomes relate? What is the evidence relating to whole-of-school approaches to student engagement and wellbeing? What are the evidence-based practices that lift student engagement and wellbeing, alongside academic gain, as aligned with each of the 9 National School Improvement Tool domains?

Place of Publication

Camberwell, Victoria


Australian Council for Educational Research