Education Resource Gaps in Australia Remain Amongst the Largest in the World

The following is a summary of a new Education Research Brief published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below.

Disadvantaged students in Australia are being denied equal opportunities to learn because they face far more shortages of teachers and material resources than advantaged students. The gaps in access to education resources between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in Australia, between rural and city schools and between public and private schools are huge. Not only are they amongst the largest in the OECD but they are also amongst the largest in the world. This is totally unacceptable for a country that regards itself as egalitarian.

Continue reading “Education Resource Gaps in Australia Remain Amongst the Largest in the World”

‘To those who have, more will be given’: Largesse to private schools continues

In line with the adage “never let a good crisis go to waste”, the Morrison Government has taken the opportunity of the COVID pandemic to extend its largesse to private schools. The Budget Papers reveal that private schools received over a billion dollars in advance payments in 2019-20 to re-open their schools.

Some of the wealthiest private schools in the country have reaped millions from Jobkeeper. They include The King’s School, St Joseph’s College, Frensham and The Armidale School in NSW as well as Geelong Grammar, Trinity Grammar, Wesley College and Bialik College in Victoria.

The Government also gave $10 million to private schools to offset COVID-19 hygiene costs for items such as soap, hand sanitiser, classroom cleaning products and additional cleaning services. Similar funding was not provided to public schools. 

All this adds to the largesse the Morrison Government has showered on private schools. The main component of this largesse is $3.7 billion in additional funding for Catholic schools over the next ten years as a result of a new method of funding private schools introduced this year. Independent schools lose from this measure but are partially compensated by special funding deals. 

Continue reading “‘To those who have, more will be given’: Largesse to private schools continues”

OECD Says Public Schools in Australia Do As Well As Private Schools

New results from the OECD’s 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that public schools across the OECD achieve better results than private schools and that school systems with larger private school sectors have lower student achievement.

After accounting for students’ and schools’ socio-economic profile, students in public schools scored higher in reading than students in private schools, on average across OECD countries (by 14 score points). At the system level, across all countries and economies, school systems with larger private sectors had lower average performance in reading, mathematics and science.

Continue reading “OECD Says Public Schools in Australia Do As Well As Private Schools”

Media Release: Private School Funding Model is Inherently Flawed

An Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools shows that the new funding method for private schools introduced this year by the Morrison Government is inherently flawed and will result in massive over-funding of schools. National Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold, said the model is littered with flaws and should be replaced by a new approach.

Continue reading “Media Release: Private School Funding Model is Inherently Flawed”

The Private School Funding Model is Deeply Flawed: A New Approach is Needed

The following is a summary of a new SOS Education Policy Brief. The full Brief can be downloaded below. This article and the Brief were revised on 2 October 2020.

Six months ago, the Morrison Government changed the method used to determine Commonwealth funding of private schools. It adopted a direct measure of the income of families called Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) to assess their capacity to contribute to school income and thereby determine the level of Commonwealth funding for each private school. It will provide a net funding increase of $3.5 billion to private schools over the next ten years compared to the previous method of funding.

ATI is a deeply flawed measure of the financial need of schools. It will result in massive over-funding of private schools because it badly under-estimates the capacity to contribute of families and ignores other sources of income of private schools as well as their assets. As a result, the financial need of schools is over-estimated and consequently they receive more government funding than warranted.

Continue reading “The Private School Funding Model is Deeply Flawed: A New Approach is Needed”

The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in NSW

The following is a summary of a new Education Research Paper on the bureaucratisation of public education in Victoria. It can be downloaded below.

Australia has long been infected by what world renowned Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg, currently professor of education at the Gonski Institute of Education in Sydney, coined as GERM (Global Education Reform Movement). It is characterised by corporate management policies, test-based accountability of schools and fostering competition between schools to drive improvement in education outcomes. One manifestation of GERM is a bloated bureaucracy to police compliance with regulations, collect and record information and monitor performance.

The NSW public education system has seen an enormous increase in bureaucracy since the turn of the century. So-called school reforms beginning in the 1990s promised less bureaucratic control but instead have intensified bureaucracy at all levels of public education systems. Both Coalition and Labor governments have adopted GERM and expanded bureaucracy in public education.

Continue reading “The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in NSW”

Shocking New Expose of Catholic Church’s Rorting of Taxpayer Funding

Documents leaked to the ABC expose shocking rorting of taxpayer funding by the NSW Catholic school system with the approval of Catholic bishops. It is the latest in a long line of exposes about misuse of government funding by Catholic systems and which successive Coalition and Labor governments have meekly acquiesced to.

The new ABC analysis shows that NSW Catholic school authorities will have diverted more than $300 million in public funding from the system’s poorer to richer primary schools by 2023 to keep fees low in wealthy suburbs to maintain market share. The leaked documents show that schools in some of the wealthiest areas collect roughly one-third to half the fees parents at those schools are able to afford while fees in much poorer areas are set at two or three times above what those parents can afford.

Continue reading “Shocking New Expose of Catholic Church’s Rorting of Taxpayer Funding”

The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Victoria

The following is a summary of a new Education Research Paper on the bureaucratisation of public education in Victoria. It can be downloaded below.

Australia has long been infected by what world renowned Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg, currently professor of education at the Gonski Institute of Education in Sydney, coined as GERM (Global Education Reform Movement). It is characterised by corporate management policies, test-based accountability of schools and fostering competition between schools to drive improvement in education outcomes. One manifestation of GERM is a bloated bureaucracy to police compliance with regulations, collect and record information and monitor performance.

The Victorian public school system has seen an enormous increase in bureaucracy since the turn of the century. So-called school reforms beginning in the 1990s promised less bureaucratic control but instead have intensified bureaucracy at all levels of public education systems. Both Coalition and Labor governments have adopted GERM and expanded bureaucracy in public education.

Continue reading “The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Victoria”

The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Australia

The following is a summary of a research paper on the bureaucratisation of public education in Australia. It can be downloaded below. As far as we are aware, this study is the first to use data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to analyse the impact of school accountability measures on the staffing structure of the public education system.

The paper was updated on 19 August to include an estimate of the small increase in funding for public schools that was accounted for by the increase in non-teaching staff.

Australia has long been infected by what world renowned Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg, currently professor of education at the Gonski Institute of Education in Sydney, coined as GERM (Global Education Reform Movement). It is characterised by corporate management policies, test-based accountability of schools and fostering competition between schools to drive improvement in education outcomes. One manifestation of GERM is a bloated bureaucracy to police compliance with regulations, collect and record information and monitor performance.

Public school systems in Australia have seen an enormous increase in bureaucracy since the turn of the century. So-called school reforms beginning in the 1990s promised less bureaucratic control but instead have intensified bureaucracy at all levels of public education systems. Both Coalition and Labor governments have adopted GERM and expanded bureaucracy in public education.

Continue reading “The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Australia”

New Review of Evidence That Increased Education Spending Leads to Improved Outcomes

A new paper published by the US Century Foundation reviews studies of two school finance reforms in the US that proved effective at improving student outcomes, especially in low-income and previously lower-spending schools. The two reforms reviewed are new school funding formulae introduced in Massachusetts in 1993 and in California in 2013. Both reforms were based on the principle that school districts serving higher need children require not the same, but more resources per student.

Continue reading “New Review of Evidence That Increased Education Spending Leads to Improved Outcomes”