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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.

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Blog

This blog provides a new way forward for system leaders. It discusses the specifics of effective education strategy and provides tangible steps to link policy to the classroom.

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Our work

Learn more about our work with school systems and read our public reports.

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Media

Our opinion pieces and interviews draw on our research and work in school systems to highlight and respond to contemporary issues in education

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Our People

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.

Our People

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.

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Dr Ben Jensen
CEO

Ben has advised governments in Australia, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia on education strategy and reform. Before founding Learning First in 2014, he was director of the Grattan Institute’s School Education Program. He also worked with numerous education systems across the world during five years at the OECD, where he conducted research on education policy and school and teacher effectiveness.

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Katie Roberts-Hull
Director

Katie works on reform strategy for school systems, strengthening teacher professional development and evaluating school improvement. She has taught in a disadvantaged rural school in Texas under the Teach For America program, and worked in education policy role in the US at TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project).

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Jacqueline Magee
Director

Jacqueline’s work focuses on the interactions between curriculum, teacher professional development and student learning. Before joining Learning First, she managed the Centre for New Public Education at the Foundation for Young Australians and was a high school teacher in Melbourne’s outer northern suburbs.

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.

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Nicole Murnane
Manager

Nicole works on teacher professional development, curriculum evaluation and reform, and school improvement in systems in Australia and overseas. Before joining Learning First, she taught science and biology for ten years in two Melbourne secondary schools, where she was also Science Learning Leader.

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James Button Communications
Consultant

James works with Learning First and its clients to develop, through reports, policy briefs and blogs, a narrative of school reform told in strong stories and plain language. He spent 20 years as a journalist with The Age newspaper in Melbourne, was a speechwriter for former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and worked at the Grattan Institute.

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Dr Anna Clark Leadership
Consultant

Anna works with Learning First’s leadership and training projects. A consultant with INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, she trains middle and senior managers in Asia, Europe and Australia on leadership development.

Ben Jensen’s Blog