The Australian School Climate and School Identification Measurement Tool

Photo by woodleywonderworks.

The Australian School Climate and School Identification Measurement Tool (ASCSIMT) is an online survey helping government schools in the ACT find out more about students, staff, and the parent/carers views about the school environment. The survey is grounded in education and social psychological theories where school climate and school identification have been shown to be critical to student and staff outcomes (well-being, engagement, aggression, learning, satisfaction).

A major strength of the ASCSIMT is that it measures school climate, school identification and related outcomes over time using a longitudinal design. This allows policy makers to see the areas in which individual schools, and the system overall, excel. Additionally, it enables schools to assess where improvements might be made to enhance the school experience for all school members. The responses to the survey can be used to assess the impact of new school initiatives (e.g., efforts to better engage students in learning), to celebrate successes, and to identify areas for ongoing improvement. This design is best-practice and makes the survey findings of interest to a wide audience of academics, policy makers, teachers and parents/carers. See our ‘Publications’ page for some recent scientific articles presenting findings from the ASCSIMT.

The survey is run jointly by the ACT Government Education Directorate and researchers from the Research School of Psychology, ANU. The ASCSIMT has been running on a yearly basis since 2007, and has continued to expand.

Primary school students in years 5-6, as well as all high school and college students attending public schools in the ACT are eligible to participate in the survey. There is also a survey for staff and parents/carers. Many of the items of the survey are the same for these different groups which means it is possible to assess similarities and differences (e.g., Do teachers report better relationships with students than the reverse? Do staff and students feel they belong at the school to the same degree? Which group rates academic expectations the highest? Are responses changing over time? Why?).