YCDI continues to grow exponentially throughout the states of Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, West Australia and, in various areas of New South Wales. There are now regular media features (TV, newspapers) on the success of YCDI on impacting student outcomes including reductions in bullying, increases in achievement and positive mental health. In the capital city of Canberra, all primary schools are employing YCDI's PSHE curriculum "Program Achieve." 4,000 of Australia's 10,000 schools are deploying one or more YCDI resources. In certain areas (e.g., north eastern Victoria) over 90% of all schools are using YCDI). The Catholic Diocese of Cairns has 23 schools and 21 are employing YCDI. This diocese is employing two full-time educators to support their schools in the implementation of YCDI. Schools with large percentages of indigenous students (e.g., Aboriginal) located in Western Australia, Torres Islands, Alice Springs are using YCDI as a catalyst to define school culture and are using Program Achieve. YCDI Program Directors Jenny Williams and Debbie Taylor continue to provide the coordination and networking that is supporting the growth of YCDI influence Australia-wide.
The growth of YCDI has coincided with changing perceptions of state governments that now see the social competence/emotional resilience/social-emotional well-being agenda as important in supporting positive student behaviour and achievement. In some states (e.g., Tasmania), schools are using their alcohol/drug prevention money to fund YCDI training/resources.
Australian state governments are supporting clusters of schools with extra funds to improve school effectiveness and student outcomes. Many clusters have decided that YCDI provides the school ethos and programs to make a difference to school otucomes and as clusters are adopting YCDI.
Michael Bernard's most current work on school improvement and school effectiveness is based on a capability-building model (school, home, community, student) and how school effectiveness and student outcomes can be improved by systematic attention to the development of capabilities. In areas of Australia, Michael Bernard is helping schools conduct audits of the existing capabilities within their communities, homes, schools and students that are associated with positive outcomes in young people and, then, helping them develop a school development plan based on building capabilities.
The Australian Council for Educational Research has just published a range of surveys developed by Michael Bernard which students/teachers complete on their social-emotional well-being and school, home, community and student capabilities. Schools receive a comprehensive school report on these capabilities.
YCDI is now perceived as Australia's leading program in empowering young people with the positive attitudes/ values and social-emotional-motivational competencies (internal capabilities) that they need to be achieving and happy young people. It is also viewed as a powerful tool for transforming school ethos/culture. Many, many young people are learning how to be socially and academically confident, to persist at schoolwork they find hard or boring in order to be successful, to set high goals and plan time (organisation), to get along (resolve conflict, work cooperatively, make contributions to their school and community) and to be emotionally resilient (management/control of anger, anxiety and low self-esteem).
On Michael Bernard's recent trip to Australia, he successfully launched the 500 page "Investing in Parents" program that provides schools not only with a new framework for developing parent capabilities, but a range of resources to help develop/communicate to parents these capabilities. This program will be published in the UK in October.
The YCDI trainers (one trainer in Victoria, Tasmania, West Australia, Queensland (one in Brisbane, South Australia) that are supported by the Australian Scholarships Group (YCDI Training Grants Scheme) are extremely busy conducting training days in schools that are supported out of school budget. For example, within the past 24 months, our Victoria trainer, Margie Milne, has trained over 200 schools in YCDI.
Heather Leary, Assistant Principal, Benalla 31 Primary School, has been nominated for the prestigious Australian of the Year Award for her innovative work in using YCDI to raise community standards as well as for her work in helping implement YCDI in over 90 percent of schools in the north east region of Victoria.
Also just released in Australia is a new program written by Michael Bernard "Developing the Social-Emotional-Motivational Competence of Young People with Achievement and Behaviour Problems: A Guide for Working with Parents and Teachers." This program is being well-received by those concerned with planning for students with behavioural problems.
In 2004, YCDI shall be introducing a scheme whereby schools in Australia can become formally accredited as YCDI schools meaning that they have achieved a threshold of good practices (range of capabilities) that support students' achievement and social-emotional well-being outcomes. During the process of accreditation, schools receive on-going support from YCDI trainers (quality assurance) to help schools infuse YCDI principles throughout school culture and programs.
YCDI continues to assist schools, homes and communities in their quest for providing young people with the practices and empowering tools necessary for school success and social-emotional well-being... In Australia, the Australian Scholarships Group has renewed its long-standing sponsorship of YCDI for two years with the provision of support for increasing numbers of YCDI trainers throughout the country that enables schools to receive free training in YCDI... in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, Australia, Giulio Bortolozzo, a lead YCDI national trainer has just been appointed to coordinate implementation of YCDI across a cluster of schools. The schools range from preschool to adult re entry and there is one special school (mentally disabled R-12). YCDI will be applied across a broad range of ages and abilities - early childhood, adolescent, adult and everywhere in between. The cluster schools have signed a memorandum of agreement to implement YCDI and have assigned key personnel at each site to help implement and maintain programs - student, parent, teacher... In Cairns, Queensland, Kerry Bird is continuing her work in helping implement in the 23 schools in the Catholic Diocesan Education Services with enthusiasm for YCDI reported to be "palpable". She has launched another 2 schools within this last week and Diocesan Education Services is going to employ another person to help her with the task of quality on-going in-services for schools already into the journey... In England, interest in YCDI continues to grow through a variety of local education authorities, education action zones and New Deal Communities... Prospects Education Services has appointed a new full-time YCDI Product Manager to help in the promotion of YCDI... Jan Campbell in her work within the Sandwell Local Education Authority and in collaboration with the National Leadership College is engaged in innovative work in implementing YCDI in a cluster of schools... The We Can Do It! New Deal in Walsall has appointed a half-time YCDI coordinator to help with the implementation of YCDI throughout the 13 schools in the area... an increasing number of personal advisors and learning mentors are being trained in the use of the YCDI Mentoring Program while the Compass Parent Education Programme is being more fully utilized in the 300 schools employing YCDI programs as part of their commitment to investing in parents... In California, USA, the Anaheim City School District is in the process of training all teachers in using the YCDI curriculum on a whole school basis... Michael Bernard has just returned from England for ongoing training in various parts and heads to Australia in late March... he is completing work on several projects including a revision of his comprehensive YCDI Parent Education Program, a manual for educators "Building the Foundations for Success and Social-Emotional Well-Being in Young People: A Consultant's Guide for Working with Parents and Teachers," and is in the final stages of completing the YCDI Early Childhood Curriculum. He is also completing work on a variety of surveys to assess social-emotional well-being of young people as well as community, school and home practices and children's internal foundations that are seen as crucial determiners of children's academic, social, emotional and behavioral outcomes... He is also working with Ian Cleland and Kalpana Patel in the New Deal Walsall Community to provide a framework for community regeneration and renewal... Plans are in place to launch in June the YCDI Young Adult Program followed on by the YCDI Adult Education Programme.
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