There were two major pieces of work that have provided new knowledge and insight into the work of SSEN:BE. The first was the Telethon Kids Institute’s (TKI) report, “Testing the Efficacy of the School of Special Educational Needs: Behaviour and Engagement (SSENBE) Midland Learning Academy” and the second was The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) project and subsequent report “Project process and materials: Practice models in the engagement of students in the educational environment.” This project was further supported with coaching support for participating schools delivered by the Innovations Unit.
The TKI report provided valuable insight into how the Midland Learning Academy has improved attendance for many of the students enrolled and greater knowledge about the barriers that contributed to their history of disengagement, low optimism, and deficits in short term regulation. TKI has provided SSEN: BE with important recommendations for future evaluation of the model of support and recommendations for integrating research into practice.
The TACSI project produced five in-depth case studies of schools that have achieved success engaging students at-risk of dis-engagement and disaffection in school. In addition to the case studies, TACSI facilitated a global horizon scan for successful programs world-wide identifying 40 programs that SSEN:BE and other schools can learn from. Both these pieces of work were applied in a co-design workshop with interested schools, with the aim of improving student engagement. A small number of schools opted for follow up coaching through the Innovations Unit to advance their engagement projects.