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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Chasing the Red Line: Raising Expectations and Student Achievement

Jenny Ruge.

Many students from low socioeconomic communities traditionally struggle to achieve academic performance levels comparable to their more advantaged peers. The western suburbs of Sydney, Australia includes some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country. The author teaches in a primary (K-6) school serving one such community. Historically, the students' performances in both literacy and numeracy were well below both state and district averages. This paper examines the main elements that contributed to fundamental change across the school, and resulted in a dramatic rise in student achievement levels. The paper explores the notion of teacher leadership (Crowther, et al, 2002), and the role that middle executives can play in whole school improvement. The paper traces the school's journey towards the development of a coherent whole-school pedagogy, with particular emphasis on literacy.


Jenny Ruge  (Australia)
Assistant Principal
Tregear Public School
NSW Department of Education and Training

Jenny Ruge is currently Assistant Principal in a NSW public primary (K-6) school. She has twenty years experience teaching in a variety of school contexts. She has a Master of Education (Honours) degree in Literacy Education, and has done extensive research and consultancy work in disadvantaged schools.

  • Literacy
  • School Improvement
  • Teacher Leadership
  • Student Achievement
  • Disadvantaged Communities

(30 min Conference Paper, English)