Learning First is an education research and consulting group. We work closely with education leaders to tie policy reform at the highest level of government to deep change in the classroom. Founded by Dr Ben Jensen in 2014 and based in Melbourne, Australia, Learning First works closely with governments, states and districts in various countries on how to reform their school systems by drawing the lessons of leading research and the practical experience of high-performing systems around the world.

For many years, Learning First has published leading international reports on school leadership, school improvement and professional learning, and curriculum reform. See Our Work for all our publications.

An increasing number of schools have asked us for help with school improvement, instructional practice, curriculum and assessment, and professional learning. Hence, in 2024 we have been developing a range of professional learning programs that will be launched in 2025. The programs include:

  • Leading school improvement

  • Curriculum planning and improvement

  • Effective instruction

  • Leading professional learning communities

  • System leadership

These programs are designed so schools and systems can develop and implement mutually reinforcing reforms. For example, professional learning communities are not an end in themselves, but an important vehicle to improve instruction, curriculum and assessment in schools that drives improvements in excellence and equity in student learning.

Register your interest in these programs and we will contact you with further details once the 2025 program schedule is finalised.


Our clients

Our clients include federal governments in various parts of the world and state and provincial governments in Australia, the United States and Canada. We do considerable work with curriculum authorities in several systems, and work with systems on how to connect curriculum development and implementation to other policies for meaningful change in classrooms. We have conducted research and advisory work for several high-profile organisations such as the OECD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Centre on Education and the Economy.

Our commitment

Successful school reform requires trust, courage, and a commitment to staying the course. We build long-term relationships with leaders at each level of the system based on honesty, integrity and deep experience and expertise. These relationships enable us to help systems further develop the skills and capacities of their people to ensure sustainable improvementpolicy and school and teacher effectiveness.

Latest report

Fixing the hole in Australian Education