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Data-driven school insights for principals

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Principals from across Australia will now have access to rigorous, data-driven insights to supplement their professional intuition and experience when making decisions about their school’s workforce with the launch of a new online platform by PeopleBench.

PeopleBench Chief Education Officer Paul Easton says the new platform will enable principals to privately examine their schools and benchmark their workforce in context with other schools across the country.

“We describe it as a ‘fitbit’ for your school’s workforce – giving principals the chance to track their school’s data and analyse it against a range of data sets including: all participating schools across Australia; customised peer groups of similar schools or the top performing schools based on student outcomes,” Easton said.

“Our goal is to give schools the data, and the confidence, to make well-informed decisions about their own workforce anytime, anywhere. This will enable them to better understand and evolve their own workforces.”

The launch of the online benchmarking platform follows the release of a State of the Sector Report last month, which showed one of the top priorities for principals was managing the wellbeing of their staff and students.

“When it comes to leadership, we found principals are optimistic about the future of school workforces but without research and benchmarks they are making decisions in the dark knowing which levers to pull to improve overall workforce performance. The PeopleBench platform enables them to identify these, and ultimately drive more autonomy to make decisions that provide the greatest impact on student outcomes.”

According to CEO Fleur Johnston, PeopleBench offers the opportunity for schools and school system leaders to join a Community of Practice where they can collaborate and access research which contributes to informing better workforce strategy decisions.

“PeopleBench is focused on improving school outcomes at a whole-of-sector level in Australia. School leaders should be empowered to discreetly compare their workforces to their relevant peers so they can identify and celebrate their strengths and take advantage of opportunities for continuous improvement,” Johnston said.

As part of the online data and insights platform, PeopleBench has established an Advisory Committee, through the Community of Practice, which brings together key partners from education, human resources, information technology and communications disciplines.

“This group will play a vital role in ensuring that information from platform members and the needs of the community are realised in future research directions and development of the PeopleBench platform.”

Johnston said PeopleBench was looking to give the Australian education sector greater access to global, real-life data and insights with the vision of expanding internationally in the next 12 months.

“National data and insights are just the first step in equipping our school and education leaders with easy-to-access and independent information – imagine the possibilities for the learning outcomes of our students, if schools could look at and benchmark against schools around the world,” she added.

For more information about the PeopleBench online platform, visit

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