Breakout Sessions

Thursday 12th of August 2021
Breakout Session 1

Learner Agency: a driver for equity & inclusion

Facilitator: Margot Foster

Assistants: Kirsty Gebert, Jason Loke & Natasa Penna

Description: How might we recognise the role learner agency has in addressing the issues of equity and inclusion in our schools? Margot Foster (Director STEM Aboriginal Students’ Congress) will take workshop participants through a design thinking process to surface the collective wisdom in the room. Supported by members of the conference planning committee, Kirsty Gebert, Jason Loke & Natasa Penna, Margot will look to sharpen our thinking about the role student voice plays as an important enabler for how we address the issues of equity and inclusion in our schools.

Autonomy and Accountability: The Paradox of the Principalship

Presenters: Dr Chris Dolan & Dr Amanda Heffernan

Description:  One of the tensions in principals’ work which impacts how we address issues of equity and inclusion is that of system accountability and school autonomy. Both Amanda and Chris have published recent studies on this topic. In sharing their insights, Amanda and Chris will encourage a discussion about the various actions, strategies and tactics we can adopt in navigating the autonomy and accountability terrain for improved equity and inclusion in our schools.

Q & A Panel: Turning Inclusion Policy into Highly Effective Practice

Presenters: Kirsty Amos and Alina Page

Description: This panel presentation will reprise what Alina and Kirsty presented to the 25th June SASPA, SAPPA & DfE Wellbeing & Inclusion forum.  Faced with a range of decisions about how best to educate and support young people with functional needs, hear about what Moonta Area School, Parafield Gardens HS and Para Hills HS have been doing to transform special needs policies into inclusive practice.

The Characteristics of High Impact Leaders: a study of Regional, Rural & Remote Schools

Presenter:  Associate Professor Scott Eacott

Description: Have you ever wondered about the difference that highly effective school leaders make to student outcomes?  Scott Eacott has led a national research project to establish “the leadership difference that makes a difference”.  Whilst the focus of this study has been regional, rural, and remote school contexts, the qualities of high impact leadership identified in this study are largely transferable to metropolitan school settings.

Friday 13th of August 2021
Breakout Session 2

Q & A Panel: Facing the Equity and Inclusion challenges in SA schools

Presenters: Professor Pasi Sahlberg with Jayne Heath (Australian Science and Mathematics School), Rosie Heinicke (Craigmore High School) and Penny Tranter (Seaview High School)

Facilitator: Peter Mader

Description:  This panel presentation will reflect on a week in Term 2 where Pasi Sahlberg visited three of our schools – ASMS, Craigmore HS and Seaview HS – to learn more about what our schools are doing locally to address the issues of equity and inclusion.  This session explores the relationship between Finnish Lessons 3.0 and what we are doing in South Australia to meet the equity and excellence challenge.

Q & A Panel: Matters of Equity & Inclusion Policy & Practice

Presenters: Professor Tanya Fitzgerald, Associate Professor Scott Eacott, Dr Amanda Heffernan

Facilitator: Dr Chris Dolan

Description: This panel presentation will reflect on the macro issues of equity and inclusion in neo-liberal times and suggest some ways forward for principal associations such as SASPA and for school leaders.  Amanda, Scott, and Tanya will provide a snapshot of how they see the current policy settings for equity and inclusion working, and what the profession could do or should do, to influence the future national and state agenda.

A Conversation: How might we Improve equity settings in SA’s Public Education system so that all young people Thrive?

Presenters: Peter Mader, Eva Kannis-Torry & Professor Martin Westwell


Description: Taking the challenge set out by the SACE Board’s Strategic Plan (2020-2023), this panel presentation is designed to encourage a facilitated discussion about the various policy and system settings we need for all young people to Thrive.


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