The Smith Family is a national children’s charity focussed on supporting disadvantaged children to participate and succeed in education over the long-term. It is currently supporting 58,000 financially disadvantaged children and young people through its long-term educational scholarship program, Learning for Life (LfL). As such, The Smith Family has a unique longitudinal dataset which it uses to contribute to the Australian educational evidence base, improve program delivery and student outcomes and for public policy impact.
This presentation will focus on two components of The Smith Family’s LfL research:
- Data from the Pathways Engagement and Transition project, which is exploring over three years, the post-school pathways taken by students on LfL, the factors which influence them and what might be done to enhance those pathways. The first wave survey conducted in 2021 saw over 4,600 completed, (response rate of 80%) with 60 qualitative interviews also completed. The presentation will focus on career support provided at school, how useful these supports are, and how it relates to longer-term education and employment outcomes.
- A data exchange project with the Department for Education in South Australia which will see The Smith Family have real-time access to data held by the Department on LfL students through a Power BI dashboard. It is anticipated that this will strengthen the capacity for more effective support and hence contribute to improved student outcomes.
Anne Hampshire is the Head of Research and Advocacy at The Smith Family and has a background in education, research, social policy and service innovation. She has extensive experience working across the community and government sectors. Anne has researched and written on a range of areas and contributed to the development of new initiatives particularly around children, young people, and families, aimed at addressing disadvantage.
Kirsten Hancock is a Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at The Smith Family. Her background includes senior research roles at the Telethon Kids Institute and the ARC Life Course Centre, where her research focussed on the relationships between health, mental health, and education, particularly for children and young people in families experiencing intergenerational disadvantage.
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