Linking rural schools and their communities

The problem

Raising educational outcomes for students in rural and regional communities is an ongoing issue. PISA 2018 showed that Australian students in rural areas are in some cases almost two years behind metropolitan students in reading literacy, mathematical literacy, and scientific literacy. 

What we did

We collected and synthesised survey, interview, and focus group data from principals, teachers, students, and parents in 17 schools, as well as members of their local communities and relevant department personnel.


Key findings

  • A local school’s reputation is integral to the ongoing survival and prosperity of its rural community.
  • Being a principal or teacher in a rural school is more demanding than in a metropolitan context.
  • Local communities represent an underutilised resource for rural schools.
  • Community-level goals for schools serving the same community may help to overcome competition.


Read the full research brief