The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding

New figures show that the arms race in lavish facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $150 million a year in government over-funding. Over-funding frees up private income from hefty fees and donations to finance luxurious buildings and facilities in competition with other elite schools. It denies much needed resources for disadvantaged schools facing severe shortages in teaching staff, educational materials and modern classroom buildings. Continue reading “The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding”

More Compelling Evidence That Increased Funding Improves School Outcomes

There is an abundance of evidence that money matters in education, especially for disadvantaged students. In the last four months alone, seven new studies were published on school funding and student outcomes. Six showed that increasing funding improves school outcomes and another one showed that school funding cuts reduce student achievement.

These studies complement six others in the preceding 18 months showing that increases in school funding improve student results. Numerous other studies in earlier years produced similar results. The studies provide compelling evidence of the worth of targeting funding increases to meet the learning needs of disadvantaged students. Continue reading “More Compelling Evidence That Increased Funding Improves School Outcomes”

NSW Public Schools Benefit Under Gonski 1.0

Public schools were the main beneficiaries of the Gonski 1.0 funding plan in NSW. Public schools received a funding increase nearly double that for private schools and which reversed the previous trend of funding cuts to public schools. However, public schools in remain significantly under-funded while private schools are over-funded. The Government must increase its funding effort to ensure that all public schools are adequately resourced and end its over-funding of private schools. Continue reading “NSW Public Schools Benefit Under Gonski 1.0”

Government Funding Increases Continue to Favour Private Schools

New figures show that government funding increases continue to favour private schools over public schools. Total government funding (Commonwealth and state/territory) for private schools increased by $574 per student, adjusted for inflation, between 2012-13 and 2015-16 compared to only $324 per student in public schools.

The disparity in funding increases resulted from much larger increases for private schools than public schools by the Commonwealth and the failure of state/territory governments – the major providers for public schools – to increase their funding in any significant way since 2012-13, after cutting a swathe through public school funding in earlier years. Continue reading “Government Funding Increases Continue to Favour Private Schools”

League Tables Create Incentives for Schools to Rig Their Results

National literacy and numeracy tests will now have ‘high stakes’ attached to them as a result of the decision of Australian education ministers, at the initiative of the Rudd Government, to publish the results of individual schools.

It means that league tables are now inevitable in Australia. This will put schools under enormous pressure to maintain reputations and enrolments. The future of some schools will also be threatened because the Prime Minister has stated that sanctions will be applied to schools that don’t improve their performance. Continue reading “League Tables Create Incentives for Schools to Rig Their Results”

Public School Funding in Tasmania Slashed by Labor and Liberal Governments

School funding should be a central issue in the Tasmanian election campaign. The latest school funding figures show that successive Tasmanian governments have slashed funding for public schools in recent years. Both Labor and Liberal governments in Tasmania took advantage of increased Commonwealth Government funding for public schools to cut their own funding, while funding for private schools was boosted by the Commonwealth Government. Continue reading “Public School Funding in Tasmania Slashed by Labor and Liberal Governments”

Doubt About Reliability of Figures on Teacher Attrition in Australia

Commonly cited figures on teacher attrition in Australia are not reliable according to a new research paper. It found there is no robust evidence to support claims that 30–50% of Australian teachers leave teaching within their first five years. In fact, it says, the teacher attrition rate in Australia is unknown. Continue reading “Doubt About Reliability of Figures on Teacher Attrition in Australia”

ACT Private Schools Have the Mother of All Special Deals

The Turnbull Government promised to eliminate all special deals for private schools under its Gonski 2.0 funding plan. However, new data released through Senate Estimates reveal that the $58 million adjustment fund for ACT private schools announced last year is the mother of all special deals. It will increase the already massive overfunding of several highly advantaged private schools in Canberra and delay, or postpone indefinitely, reductions in over-funding. Continue reading “ACT Private Schools Have the Mother of All Special Deals”

Caution Needed in Interpreting PISA 2015 Results

Last year, the Director of Education at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, admitted that the switch from pen-and-paper to computer tests for PISA 2015 assessments may have contributed to significant falls in results amongst higher performing countries. A new research paper published by the Centre of Education Economics in the UK provides more evidence for this. Continue reading “Caution Needed in Interpreting PISA 2015 Results”

Study Shows That Vouchers to Attend Private Schools Reduce Student Achievement

A new US study has found that vouchers to attend private schools leads to lower student achievement by up to a year or more of learning. It shows that funding disadvantaged students to attend private schools resulted in lower test scores in maths, reading, science and social studies. Continue reading “Study Shows That Vouchers to Attend Private Schools Reduce Student Achievement”