Education

Sagacity Consulting has a great depth of expertise around education and training policy but also in the implementation of systemic reforms.  Sagacity has also worked at regional and school levels on strategic initiatives with a more local focus.  Understanding the inertia in such systems and working out how best to change direction is critical.

 

Relevant projects we have undertaken

  • For a State Department of Education, conducting the community consultation for two pilot projects under an $850m initiative to rationalize and redevelop schools in two areas (8 schools in one and 7 schools in the other).  This was part of an institutional reform to the provision of State school facilities.  The reform involved having the community identify unsustainable schools within a cluster (for closure) in exchange for specialized and upgraded facilities in those schools that remained.  Our consultants were responsible for providing consultation/facilitation expertise as well as communication and demographic expertise to support the consultations.  Our lead consultant designed and ran the consultations setting up Reference Groups and other associated consultation mechanisms over a period of about 8 weeks.  The project resulted in the delivery of reports by our lead consultant to the sponsoring Ministers, signed off by the Reference Groups, agreeing that there were two schools in each cluster that were unsustainable and that should therefore be closed.

  • Reporting on the feasibility of options for making available year 11 and 12 schooling for an Island Indigenous community.  Apart from the fly-in fly-out temporary arrangement that was operating on the Island, the other major option that was costed by our consultants was a residential facility at which the island's students could board in the closest provincial town.  This option involved leasing 2.5 hectares of land and building accommodation places for 26 male and 24 female students in separate blocks.  The facility also included a commercial standard kitchen and dining, recreation, common, computer, cleaning and store rooms, 2 study areas and 2 laundries as well as studio apartments for 2 visiting families.  Space would be set aside for an administration block.  In the grounds there would be storage for ground maintenance equipment, covered secure parking for residential staff, and an uncovered parking area for 6 cars.  The facility would be air-conditioned throughout with wireless capability for all work areas and video security system covering key locales across the campus.  All operational costs would be met largely by student contributions of their Abstudy and Assistance for Isolated Children payments.  Another student block for 25 students which might be built at a later date was costed.

  • Providing independent project leadership in the amalgamation of three statutory authorities for the Minister for Education and the Director-General.  This involved developing a model of the new authority, drafting and introducing a new Bill which amongst other things defined the composition of the authority's Board and steering the transition from the existing organisational arrangements to the new.   The work included definition of the functions of the new authority, rationalization of all services, creating a new structure, staffing it, establishing an initial budget and planning accommodation.  An important aspect of the work was to manage the concerns and expectations of powerful stakeholder groups.  Our consultant also provided advice to the Chair and assisted with the induction of the members of the new authority.

  • Evaluating the performance of international education units within a State education authority to determine their financial and educational returns.  This required detailed research and analysis of the financial and performance data for the units and resulted in a major restructuring of the governance, strategic and business focus and management of the programs.

  • Review of the confidentiality policy and practices for a major University as a means of independently checking that appropriate measures were in place for all aspects of confidentiality in University operations.

  • Advising the Director of Religious Education & Curriculum, in a Catholic Education Archdiocese on the future direction of their multimedia centre.  Our consultants interviewed key staff and stakeholders and conducted desk research to develop a set of recommendations on the future direction, staffing and operations of the centre.  Our report also provided recommendations on implementation.