Prairiewood High School (established in 1984) is a co-educational, comprehensive and partially selective high school of just over 1200 students in the Fairfield LGA in South Western Sydney. The student population is 83% Language Background Other Than English with the largest cultural groups being Vietnamese and Arabic at about 20% of the student population each. The study body represents over 50 cultural backgrounds and over 100 refugee students. Sixty academically selective places are available on a competitive basis in each of the years 7 to 12 and there are three special education classes, Autism and IO. The school’s ICSEA is 971; 72% of students are in the bottom two quartiles, 46% and 26% respectively. 8% are in the upper quartile and 20% are in the middle upper quartile. The school serves a low socio-economic population.
Staffing context re this case-study – Prairiewood High School has undergone significant change from 2018 after a complete change over in substantive senior executive staff. A new Principal was appointed in term 3, 2018, and from October 2018 to present, three substantive Deputy Principals’ have been appointed (one ACIP). There has been a negotiated restructure in terms of school operations and portfolios at the senior executive level. In addition, two new substantive Head Teachers have been appointed to the school (HT Teaching and Learning, HT TAS) and two more are going through merit selection. Currently, there are several relieving positions. The executive are early career executive – 75% of staff under three year’s executive experience. This case study highlights the approach the school is currently undergoing in terms of empowering School Leaders and Teachers to drive practice and capacity.