International education expert Sir Kevan Collins visits Our Place schools

Local education leaders recently enjoyed the opportunity to engage with and learn from international expert Sir Kevan Collins during a visit to Frankston North and Morwell schools.

As a member of Our Place’s expert advisory group and contributing author of our recent Continuity of Learning publication, Kevan facilitated discussions that focused on the power of cross-sector partnerships in supporting children and families.

During his time in Australia, Kevan helped facilitate a Continuity of Learning workshop with our Frankston North Schools, Frankston North Early Learning Centres and central staff from the Department of Education and Training Victoria. This workshop provided an opportunity for the Frankston North educational professionals to ask questions directly to Kevan and share the great work they are undertaking to improve the continuity of learning for children in Frankston North.

Kevan also attended Morwell Central and Morwell Park primary schools and met both school and Goodstart Early Learning leadership teams. Similar to the Continuity of Learning workshop in Frankston North, education staff in Morwell had the opportunity to discuss concepts of Continuity of Learning with Kevan and explore how to further progress their efforts and alignment to ensure the best outcomes for children and families.

During a working lunch, Kevan provided insight into what he has seen work well in communities experiencing educational disadvantage and highlighted the importance of partnerships in contributing to success. The Craft Central group at Morwell, which is made up of local adults who get together weekly to participate in craft activities, also handmade a bowl cosy, coaster, and bookmark as a souvenir for Kevan.

Also, during Kevan’s visit, Our Place hosted a keynote speaking event where attendees could attend either in person at the Monterey Secondary College auditorium or online via a live webinar. In total, 70 people participated in this session. Kevan provided attendees with insights into international perspectives and discussed emerging evidence around COVID recovery in education. Attendees were also able to ask questions directly to Kevan about their own specific concerns, experiences, and circumstances. A recording of this session is available on YouTube HERE

Our Place would like to take this opportunity to thank Kevan for his invaluable insight and guidance, and we are very much looking forward to having Kevan visit more of our sites in future. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Aldercourt Primary School and Morwell Park Primary School for providing Kevan with an opportunity to tour your schools and early learning centres. Mahogany Rise Primary School for also hosting a tour of the school and the Continuity of Learning Workshop. Morwell Central Primary School and Goodstart Early Learning for hosting another tour for Kevan and for hosting the working lunch. Finally, we would like to thank Monterey Secondary College for allowing us to use their auditorium to host our keynote speaking event and the Monterey VCAL students for planning and supplying us with a fantastic afternoon tea.

About Professor Sir Kevan Collins

Starting his career as a primary school teacher in London’s east, Kevan went on to lead schools in Yorkshire and London before becoming the National Director of the UK’s Primary Literacy Strategy. He then served as the first Director of Children’s Services at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, before becoming its CEO. He became the Founding CEO of the Education Endowment Fund (EEF), a fund dedicated to addressing educational disadvantage, sharing evidence, and identifying ‘what works’ in education. The EEF supports work in more than half of England’s schools, and has been influential world-wide, supporting work in Australia, Europe, and Latin America.

Sir Kevan’s current positions in Australia include Directorships on the Boards of Goodstart Early Learning and the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO). He also serves on the Board of Cognita Schools, overseeing their work in more than 90 schools in 12 countries. In 2015, he was knighted by the Queen for services to education.