Tuesday, 25 June 2013

How the Partnership Brokers Program can help educators.

Young people make up a fifth of our population and are very important to our society.

(Pg 2 Youth Strategy for Young Australians http://www.youth.gov.au/sites/Youth/bodyImage/Documents/NatStrat.pdf)

National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions:
This National Partnership was agreed by the Council of Australia Governments (COAG) on 2 July 2009.

Supporting young people is a collective responsibility and one that needs continual growth, support and reflection. The Australian government recognise there are many effective ways to provide an environment that allows students to realise their educational and social potential.  The Youth attainment and transitions program provides such foundational support to schools, families and students. 

The collective capacity of students, staff, parents, extended families, friends, industry and the community is indeed very powerful!

Are we tapping into the potential of Parental engagement? number of studies (including Luneburg and Irby; 2002) have demonstrated that effective parent involvement in schools is a critical factor in students' academic success. Instructional involvement by parents has direct benefits on the learning outcomes for their children. (McGaw, 1992) In order to raise achievement, parents need to be both involved in schools and engaged in learning. (Harris and Goodall; 2007)  Harris and Goodall (pg 67, 2007) go on to argue that parental engagement should be as "essential part of the learning process, an extended part of the pedagogic process".  They maintain parental involvement must be given as much emphasis as teacher effectiveness and other school improvement strategies. 

Hattie (2009) believes that "schools have an important role in helping parents to learn the language of schooling so that parents can provide every possible assistance to their children in terms of developing the child's learning and love of learning and in creating the highest possible shared expectations for learning". (pg33)
Parents and the home environment they create are the single most important factor in shaping their children’s achievements and prospects (Department of Education and skills UK, 2007)
Families are the first educators of their children and they continue to influence their children’s learning and development during the school years and long afterwards (Family-School Partnerships Framework).
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians  is an important and worthy read. This declaration acknowledges the benefits of family, school and community partnerships, and expresses a commitment on the part of Australian governments to:

…(work) with all school sectors to ensure that schools engage young Australians, parents, carers, families, other education and training providers, business and the broader community to support students’ progress through schooling, and to provide them with rich learning, personal development and citizenship opportunities (p.10). 
Michael Fullan (Three stories of educational reform) has put forward at least five powerful external forces that schools must contend with and turn to their advantage:
  • parents and community,
  • technology,
  • corporate connections,
  • government policy, and
  • the wider teaching profession.
When parents, the community, the teachers, and the students share a rapport, learning occurs. (Fullan, 2000)
More here: 
National Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians.
Mind Matters: Parent involvement in schools.
Family and school engagement in children's education.
Engaging Parents in Raising Achievement- Do Parents Know They Matter?

Role of a Partnership Broker?
Brokering is a complex and yet subtle role that aims to ensure a partnership becomes sustainable. Partnership brokers act as change makers. They are focused on connecting ideas, opportunities and have the needs and goals of any given partnership in mind at all times. Partnership brokers assist in capacity building, facilitating, organising, attracting innovation and ultimately secure a partnership where all stakeholders benefit.  Stakeholders can include community, business, education and government.  In essence a PB will broker strategic partnerships between education, training providers, business, industry, families and community groups in order for youth to engage or reengage in education. 

Schools often do not have the time or resources to establish sustainable partnerships. The role of the Partnership Broker is to create partnerships that support youth attainment, transition and social potential of our youth.  Partnerships harness available resources. An exciting phase includes affirming what schools and industry are already doing well and sourcing hidden potential. 

The planned and structured giving of time, information, goods and services, voice and influence, as well as money, to improve the wellbeing of humanity and the community.

A Partnership broker ensures learning is supported INSIDE AND OUTSIDE the classroom. 

To find a Partnership Broker provider in your area, enter your Australian postcode on this page:  Youth attainment and transitions home page  You will see below an example of the results page. The blue PB button informs that  Sydney Business Education Partnerships in region 1 is the service provider for postcode 2000.  The orange YV button informs that the Salvation Army Oasis youth support network can assit with Youth connection programs. (see below for more information on the Youth connections program).


An agreement called "Compact with Young Australians" aims to support participation in education and training, and encourage young people to "learn or earn". Basically, all young people must complete Year 10 or equivalent and then be in education, training or employment until the reach 17 years of age. The premise being, youth will be afforded more opportunities to succeed in life if they are engaged in education or training prior to full time employment. Read more here: What is learn or earn?  The Partnership brokers program and Youth connections program assist in the Compact with Young Australians.


There are many exciting options and pathways available for youth when deciding their future toward the "world of work".  A vast array of resources can be found here: Career bullseye posters and more like the one to left can be found in this link.  


The goal of youth connection is to help young people overcome barriers and problems that may make it difficult for them to stay at school or training, or return to school if they have left. Services are flexible and can be one to one in the hope that youth ultimately gain a Year 12 (or equivalent) level education. 

Links of interest:
My future (Australian)
My future (USA)
Job guide (DEEWR: Department of Education, employment and relations)
Career information flyers
The young workers toolkit
Youth transitions Partnership brokers program
Rolling in the deep blue HSC: Reachout.com
School and beyond: Youth NSW
National Strategy for Young Australians
ABC radio: big ideas 22nd April 2013. Youth transitions-the journey from school to work.

It takes a village to raise a child.

I am currently working part time as a secondary high school educator and part time as a Partnership Broker with AusSIP (Australian schools industry partnerships link here).  Our facebook page is here: Aussip Partnership brokers Facebook page ("LIKE" to keep up to date with latest news, tips, success stories)  And our twitter handle here: @everyparent  I am finding this new role amazingly relevant and fulfilling, especially in these times of educational reform.

I am incredibly excited about the future and grateful that our Government has strategies and programs in place that are available to our most precious resource: our youth.  I truly hope as many schools as possible are aware of resources such as the Partnership Broker program and Youth Connect programs. These programs are available to ultimately support student learning.

How aware is your school (and educators within your school aware of):

Keeping the educational conversation flowing,
Please share any additional resources, questions or good news stories in the comments below.


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