This is a summary of an Education Policy Brief on School Funding and Equity in the ACT. The full Brief can be downloaded below.
The ACT school system has very high quality outcomes by international and national standards as evidenced in high average outcomes, high proportions of students achieving national and international benchmarks and high proportions of students achieving at the highest levels. Retention rates to Year 12 in the ACT are the highest in Australia.
However, despite these results and despite the high average incomes and adult education levels in the ACT, there is also high inequity in education. The social gradient in education in the ACT is the highest in Australia, except for the Northern Territory. Unacceptably high percentages of low SES students are below national minimum standards for literacy and numeracy by Year 9 and very high percentages of Indigenous students are below the standards. Low SES and Indigenous students are up to four years behind their high SES peers by Year 9. The large proportion of these students are in public schools. Past funding increases have not been sufficiently well-targeted to improve the results of these students.