New OECD Report Calls for Greater Fairness in Education

An OECD report on equity and quality in education to be released this week will add pressure on the Australian Government to come up with a more equitable system of school funding. The report says that students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds are twice as likely to have low results as other students. It recommends that governments should better target funding for disadvantaged students. Continue reading “New OECD Report Calls for Greater Fairness in Education”

It is Government Schools Which Are Under-Funded, Not Private Schools

The National Catholic Education Commission has called for more funding for Catholic schools by the Federal Government. It says there is a resource gap between Catholic schools and government schools and that government funding of government schools has been increasing faster than for private schools.

This claim ignores the much higher level of disadvantage in government schools compared to Catholic and other private schools. Government schools do the heavy lifting in education and they should have more resources than private schools. Their funding should be increasing faster than private schools if the achievement gaps between rich and poor, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous and between remote area and metropolitan students are to be reduced. Continue reading “It is Government Schools Which Are Under-Funded, Not Private Schools”

Fee Increases Outstrip Cost Increases in Elite Private Schools in Queensland

School fees in Queensland’s elite private schools have increased by nearly 6% in 2012. Fees at Brisbane Boys Grammar and Girls Grammar are approaching $20,000. At the same time, they are raking in millions of dollars in government funding. Continue reading “Fee Increases Outstrip Cost Increases in Elite Private Schools in Queensland”

Private School Funding Figures are a Shambles

The official figures on government funding of private schools are a shambles. Even the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is confused. Its latest National Report on Schooling in Australia presents two contrasting sets of figures on private school funding.

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Govt. Funding Increases Have Favoured the Wealthiest Schools

New figures show that Australia’s wealthiest school sector received the biggest increases in government funding over much of the past decade. Government funding of Independent schools has increased by nearly double the rate of increase for government schools since 2001-02. It has left Independent schools much better resourced than government schools. Continue reading “Govt. Funding Increases Have Favoured the Wealthiest Schools”

National Equity Funding Programs are too ‘Hit and Miss’

A report published by the Australian Primary Principals Association provides some revealing insights into the targeting and funding of low income students under the Smarter Schools National Partnerships. The lead author of the study said that the programs are too ‘hit and miss’.

The findings suggest that the programs are unlikely to lead to any significant improvement in outcomes for low income and low achieving students. The amount of funding per school and student is small; it is not well targeted as many students and schools miss out and is not being used in the most effective ways. Continue reading “National Equity Funding Programs are too ‘Hit and Miss’”

Private Schools Will Get a Funding Bonanza from Voucher Models

School funding models proposed to the School Funding Review by Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) and the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) feather the nest of private schools, especially the wealthiest schools. They would deliver a massive funding boost to private schools and give them a huge resource advantage over government schools. At best, government schools would get no additional funding and, at worst, a massive reduction in funding.

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Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence and Policy Responses

Policies such as expanded parent choice, promoting competition between schools and test-based evaluation of teachers are misguided according to one of the leading scholars of education reform in the United States. Professor Helen Ladd claims that these policies fail to address the key problem of the achievement gap between rich and poor and that addressing this educational challenge will require a broader and bolder approach to education policy than the recent efforts to improve education in the US.

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The Pressure is on the Gonksi Review to Deliver on Equity

The following is a summary of a speech delivered by the National Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold, to the State Council of the State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia in Perth on 19 November 2011. It can be downloaded below.

If the Gonski Review of school funding is to deliver on its own equity goal it must deliver a new school funding model that restricts funding for wealthy private schools and provide a large boost in funding for government schools. Continue reading “The Pressure is on the Gonksi Review to Deliver on Equity”

New Evidence of Massive Achievement Gaps Between Rich and Poor in Australia

New studies published by academics at Murdoch University show massive achievement gaps between rich and poor in Australia’s schools. Students from low income families in low socio-economic status (SES) schools are nearly four years behind students from high income families in high SES schools in reading, mathematics and science.

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