Trevor Cobbold, spokesman for Save Our Schools, recently delivered an address to a forum on the future of public education in the ACT sponsored the ACT Public Education Alliance. The address makes four key points:
- The ACT schools system has very high quality outcomes, with little difference between the government and private sectors, especially when the different social composition of the sectors is taken into account.
- School outcomes in the ACT are not improving and, indeed, have declined in some areas over the period of the Stanhope Government.
- There is extensive individual and social inequity in ACT school outcomes with a large achievement gap between students from low and high income families.
- There is increasing social segregation in the ACT school system that is reflected in the ongoing drift of enrolments to the private system.
The paper also canvasses some broad policy proposals to address key weaknesses in the ACT school system.