‘Independent’ Review of Research on the Impact of School Autonomy is a ‘Dud’

The Federal Department of Education recently published the first report in its so-called independent evaluation of the Government’s school autonomy program. The report purports to be a literature review of academic research on school autonomy, but it is a ‘dud’ of a review. Continue reading “‘Independent’ Review of Research on the Impact of School Autonomy is a ‘Dud’”

The Real Class War on Display

The real class war in education was on show this week. It was an object lesson in how the rich ruthlessly exploit their power to gain privileges at the expense of the poor and less well-off. Within a few days they extracted commitments to a funding increase for private schools which will likely amount to about $1.5 billion from the Federal Government and an unspecified increase from the Coalition. Continue reading “The Real Class War on Display”

Many Victorian Schools to Miss Out on Equity Funding

The Victorian Government recently announced changes to the Education Maintenance Allowance which provides assistance to low-income families for textbooks, stationary, excursions and school uniforms. Until now half the allowance was paid directly to parents and the other half to schools. From 2013, an increased allowance will be paid to parents but no payments will go to schools. The Government says that the savings achieved will allow more equity-based funding to be provided to schools with a high proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The following article on the changes was contributed by a Victorian school principal. Continue reading “Many Victorian Schools to Miss Out on Equity Funding”

Is Gillard Preparing to Dump Gonski?

It seems that the Prime Minister may not “give a Gonski”. When challenged at a community cabinet meeting in Brisbane this week to implement the recommendations of the Gonski report on school funding she put the onus on state governments. Her response raises the question as to whether the Federal Government is preparing to dump the report and sheet home blame to Coalition state governments.

Continue reading “Is Gillard Preparing to Dump Gonski?”

Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected

This article is a summary of an Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below.

Private schools in Canberra are pressuring for a massive across-the-board 43% increase in funding by the ACT Government. They want Territory funding increased from about 17.5% to 25% of average government school costs.

The Catholic Education Commission, the ACT Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools have all called for the increase to be applied to all private schools. Undoubtedly, this will be the focus of a private school campaign in the lead up to the ACT election this October.

The proposed increase would amount to about $19 million a year on 2010 funding figures, increasing from $44 million to $63 million. Catholic schools would receive an increase of $13.5 million and Independent schools $5.4 million.

This is an incredible claim which should be rejected on several grounds. It would compound the already privileged funding position of high socio-economic status (SES) private schools in the ACT. It is contrary to the new approach to school funding being developed following the Gonski review of school funding in Australia. It would reduce the funding available to address the major challenge facing ACT education – the large achievement gap between rich and poor students

Continue reading “Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected”

School Autonomy is Not the Success Claimed

A review of research studies on school autonomy in several countries published by Save Our Schools says that there is little evidence to support the Federal Government’s Empowering Local Schools program. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that there is little prospect that greater school autonomy will lead to better student results. Continue reading “School Autonomy is Not the Success Claimed”

Testing is Robbing Children of their Childhood and Health

Reports in the world’s media over the last few weeks have told of the immense burden being placed on young children by school tests in cities as far apart as Beijing, New York and Sydney. There was a common thread to the stories – children being robbed of their childhood and their health suffering because of the emphasis now placed on tests in schools. Continue reading “Testing is Robbing Children of their Childhood and Health”

New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding

Save Our Schools has accused two Canberra private schools of using a loophole to get extra Federal funding. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the two schools will gain $2.4 million in additional funding by establishing new campuses of existing schools rather than for new stand alone schools. Continue reading “New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding”

What NAPLAN Test Prep Has in Common With Trains Skipping Stations

An interesting article was published in The Age last week about Metro Trains, the privately-owned operator of Melbourne’s suburban rail network. Apparently, Metro has resorted to skipping stations and running unscheduled short services in order to avoid being fined for trains running late. Continue reading “What NAPLAN Test Prep Has in Common With Trains Skipping Stations”