Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools

Bill Shorten has committed Labor to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the Catholic school system. He promised it $250 million over two years and billions more over a decade. Catholic Education Victoria reciprocated by campaigning on behalf of Labor in the Batman by-election. What a cosy deal! More money for Catholic schools in return for electoral favours!

Labor claims it is merely restoring funding cut from Catholic schools by the Turnbull Government. But, in fact, it is restoring massive over-funding created by the Howard Government’s socio-economic status () funding model which Labor surreptitiously folded into its Gonski funding model. Continue reading “Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools”

Funding Increases for Private Schools in Victoria Have Far Outstripped Those for Public Schools

New figures show that funding increases for private schools in Victoria far outstripped that for public schools under the Gonski 1.0 funding plan. This was due to bigger increases in Commonwealth funding for private schools and cuts to public school funding by the previous Victorian Government. Funding for public schools was slashed by the Baillieu and Napthine Coalition Governments while a small increase occurred in the first year of the Andrews Labor Government.

The Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding plan will ensure that Catholic and Independent schools are funded at or above their resource entitlement while public schools will be vastly under-funded unless the Victorian Government embarks on a major funding effort. Continue reading “Funding Increases for Private Schools in Victoria Have Far Outstripped Those for Public Schools”

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

This article includes updated figures on the over-funding of elite private schools in Sydney. The article was originally published on John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations blog.

New figures show that the arms race in ostentatious facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $170 million a year in government over-funding. Over-funding frees up private income from hefty fees and donations to finance opulent 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 – Update”

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”

New research shows what makes a difference in teaching literacy and why ‘evidence-based’ is not enough

Public discourse about schooling generally assumes that it’s in crisis. The script goes something like this: There’s a problem and it’s big – really big! Test results show us Australia is going downhill and teachers need to be accountable. There are ‘evidence-based’ solutions but teachers are not using them. If they did, literacy standards would improve, test results would improve, and Australia would be among the best in the world again.

Well we have some good news and bad news for you. Continue reading “New research shows what makes a difference in teaching literacy and why ‘evidence-based’ is not enough”

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”

Who is for teaching?

What conclusion can be drawn from the Turnbull government’s announcement that a national review of teacher registration, will examine ways in which the process for becoming a teacher around Australia will be streamlined in order to make it easier for people in the trades and other professions to switch careers? It begs the question of why aren’t teachers being encouraged to rapidly retrain as tradies, nurses or for other professions, to fill skill shortages in rural Australia? Continue reading “Who is for teaching?”

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”