Using School Data to Continuously Improve and Inform Decision-Making Approaches Within Australian School Contexts

Dr Venesser Fernandes, Lecturer, Educational Leadership Studies, Faculty of Education, Monash University

In Australia, site-based school management systems have existed since the 1980s with schools held more accountable today than ever before (Fernandes, 2019). There is very little evidence found on how Australian schools use their school data and organisational evidence to inform decision-making within their schools. This research study has focused on exploring current decision-making processes used within school improvement processes across all three sectors of Australian schooling and enquires into the extent to which data-informed decision-making has been effectively employed within schools. Six case-study schools (two K-12 independent schools, two K-6 Catholic schools and two K-9 public schools) participated in an explorative cross-comparative, case study research from 2017-2019. The inquiry identified best practices, barriers and types of leadership dispositions found when a data-informed decision-making approach was undertaken. The findings from this study directly assists in bringing together stakeholders from across the three types of schools: informing theory, practice and policy.

data-informed decision-making, school leadership, middle-level school leadership, organisational design, school improvement

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