Why Australia should trial multi-school organisations: A Grattan briefing

In this special online briefing, Grattan education experts Jordana Hunter and Nick Parkinson will unpack the findings of their new report, Spreading success: Why Australia should trial multi-school organisations.

Date: Thursday 28th March

Time: 12 Noon – 12:30pm AEDT

Location: Online


Australia has some exceptional schools, but it is not doing a good enough job at spreading excellence and achieving equity. Too many Australian children are treading water in schools that struggle to lift academic performance, meet students’ complex needs, or offer a rich set of life experiences. 

Establishing multi-school organisations (MSOs) could help. MSOs are strong ‘families’ of schools, bound together through a united executive leadership that is accountable for students’ results. The structure can boost the odds of school improvement, and better support teachers, students, and principals. 

Jordana and Nick will explain what they learnt studying high-performing multi-school organisations in England and New York City, and why Australian should trial the approach here. 

Photo courtesy of Dixons Academies Trust


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Jordana Hunter


Dr Jordana Hunter is the Education Program Director at Grattan Institute. She has an extensive background in economics and education policy, having held roles in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Her research interests are in evidence-based policy design and implementation, and teaching quality. She has a PhD in public policy from the University of Melbourne.

Sally McMahon


Sally McMahon is an economist with more than 25 years’ experience in energy and industry reform programs. Commencing her career investigating third-party gas access regimes, she has been an advisor and executive with economic regulators, governments, electricity and gas businesses, and investment funds in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Canada.

Sally has held key roles in the evolution of jurisdictional energy markets and the establishment and ongoing development of the law and rules for the National Electricity and Gas Market. IN addition to her role as Commissioner at the AEMC, she is the Independent Chair of the Market Advisory Committee, the Gas Advisory Board and the Pilbara Advisory Committee in Western Australia and is a part-time Councillor of the National Competition Council.

Sally holds an Honours degree in Economics from the Flinders University of South Australia and is a GAICD. Sally is also a member of the Economic Society of Australia and a former Chair of Women in Economics Network of WA.