While there have been large increases since 2008 in the percentage of students withdrawn from the NAPLAN tests, the average withdrawn remains low in all states and for Australia. However, these low averages disguise some very high withdrawal rates in many schools.
The NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has refused to give any ground on his plan to slash $1.7 billion from the education budget over the next four years. He has rebuffed a call by a coalition of government and private school organisations for the cuts to be reversed. The coalition put the Premier on notice that he faces a major political backlash up to the next NSW election.
An increasing number of parents are withdrawing their children from the NAPLAN tests. There has been a four- to five-fold increase across Australia since 2008 in the percentage of children withdrawn from the numeracy tests. Withdrawals have increased in all Year levels tested and across all states and territories, with the largest increases in the ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
This article is the third in a series on mapping the extent and differences in school autonomy across jurisdictions and school sectors in Australia. The aim is to provide an up to date information base for further discussion of issues around school autonomy.
The information provided below and in forthcoming articles is a first go at developing a comprehensive overview of school autonomy in Australia. Comment is invited with a view to correcting mistakes and omissions.
The “Contact Us” facility on this website can be used to directly provide comments and information or to contact SOS for another address to send information. Continue reading “Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 3”
A new analysis shows that students from high socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds in Australia are more likely to be better taught than disadvantaged students. Low SES students have less exposure to teaching practices that are associated with higher results.
Viewers of the ABC’s Lateline last week had a special treat – an evidence-based discussion of education policy. Finland’s director of education, Pasi Sahlberg, was interviewed on the success of his country in international student assessments. He said its success was due to a focus on equity in education.
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”
The consultation on school closures by the Tasmanian Greens Minister for Education, Nick McKim, is a sham. It is restricted to only four weeks, which is not nearly enough time for school communities to prepare their case. The impact statements prepared by the Minister amount to a list of benefits of closing schools and fail to spell out the full effect on families and communities.
The Save Our Schools submission to the School Funding Review calls for an increase in funding for government schools of $6-9 billion a year to start reducing the large achievement gaps between rich and poor in Australia. It recommends that the current funding model for private schools be terminated and replaced by a new funding model which integrates government funding of government and private schools. It suggests that a federal schools commission be established to co-ordinate school funding. Continue reading “SOS Calls for Increased Funding for Govt Schools and a New Funding Model for Private Schools”
It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Australia’s education system is in the hands of the current review of school funding. It has the opportunity to change the face of school education in a way that has not been done for nearly 40 years.
What is at stake is whether Australian taxpayers are to continue to provide large subsidies to the wealthiest families and schools in Australia or whether disadvantaged students will finally get their due and be provided with the resources to ensure that they all receive an adequate education and to reduce the huge achievement gap between rich and poor. Continue reading “School Funding Review Must Deliver More Resources for Government Schools”