Counting the benefits of improving schooling outcomes

Analysis

Counting the benefits of improving schooling outcomes

Quality Teaching Rounds – Cost Benefit Analysis

This Deloitte Access Economics report quantifies the economic benefit of Quality Teaching Rounds, a teacher professional development program run by the University of Newcastle that shows promising results in improving student progress in mathematics.

This report, commissioned by the University of Newcastle, estimates the cost-effectiveness and economic value of Quality Teaching Rounds (QTR), a teacher professional development program that combines a clearly defined pedagogical framework, lesson observations, and rich discussions of teaching practice and research in professional learning communities comprised of three to five teachers.

Estimates of the improvement in student learning produced by QTR are taken from a randomised controlled trial (the gold standard in program evaluation) conducted by the University of Newcastle in 2019. This research shows that students taught by a teacher who received training in QTR from a University of Newcastle researcher saw an improvement in mathematics performance equivalent to an additional two months of learning over the course of three school terms (no statistically significant improvement was noted in reading or science).

At a cost of $127 per student, this mathematics improvement means QTR compares similarly or favourably to the few other rigorously tested schooling interventions in Australia on a cost-effectiveness basis, both relative to other interventions and established benchmarks.

Based on the improvement in mathematics progress, Deloitte Access Economics estimated the wider economic benefit of QTR by modelling the predicted increase in students’ future wages, employment and educational attainment. These estimates were generated by econometric analysis of academic performance and labour market data captured in the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth. The wider economic benefit was then calculated by using the Deloitte Access Economics Regional General Equilibrium model to simulate how these changes would affect economic output.

This analysis showed that for each dollar spent on QTR the lifetime uplift in Gross State Product is equal to between $40 and $150, depending on how conservative the assumptions used in the calculation process are.

These results indicate that QTR delivers a high level of economic return to society for the level of associated program cost. While not being directly comparable, international studies of a range of aggregate investments in primary education typically estimate that for each dollar of investment a benefit between $8.50 and $25.40 results.

Published: October 2020

Counting the benefits of improving schooling outcomes
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