Expert Review of ACT Education System is Urgently Needed

An expert public inquiry into the state of ACT education is urgently needed. We need to better understand the trends in education outcomes and inequities in outcomes in the ACT and we need to find out what are the factors behind these trends. Save Our Schools has been calling for this for the past eight years. It is backed up by a string of recent expert and official reports, the latest being a report by the Grattan Institute. Continue reading “Expert Review of ACT Education System is Urgently Needed”

Disadvantaged Schools Miss Out in Access to Teachers

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

The large gaps in student achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in Australia are well known. What is less well known is that government teacher policies are compounding the gaps by discriminating against disadvantaged schools in their access to teaching resources. Incredibly, Australia allocates more and better teacher resources to socio-economically advantaged schools than to disadvantaged schools.

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Morrison Puts More Nails in the Coffin of Gonski

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

Introduction

The Gonski funding model was systematically dismantled by the Abbott and Turnbull Governments and it was almost dead and buried by the end of Turnbull’s reign. The Morrison Government immediately put more nails in the Gonski coffin with a new special $4.6 billion funding deal for private schools that is not fully based on need.

The new special deal has two main components –an additional $3.2 billion over 10 years from 2020 to 2029 to implement a new method of assessing capacity to pay in private schools and an additional $1.2 billion over the same period to support parent choice. The large bulk of the increase will go to Catholic schools.

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State Govts Evade Commitments to Public Schools

Public schools have suffered a double blow in the last fortnight. The Morrison Government announced a $4.6 billion appeasement deal for private schools with no increase for public schools. Last week The Guardian exposed how Labor and Coalition state governments are trying to evade commitments to increase their funding of public schools through a subterfuge. If successful, public schools, which enrol over 80% of disadvantaged students, could lose up to $2.6 billion a year. Public schools need and deserve better than this. Continue reading “State Govts Evade Commitments to Public Schools”

Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?

This is a summary of a new Education Research Brief. It can be downloaded below

A much-ignored aspect of school results in Australia over the past decade or more is the sharp contrast between declining or stagnating scores on international and national tests for Years 9 and 10 and solid improvements in Year 12 results. How is it that trends in school outcomes only two or three Year levels apart are so different? Continue reading “Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?”

New Figures Reveal that the ACT Government Has Cut Funding to Public Schools

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools in the ACT. Despite much rhetoric about its support for public schools, the ACT Government has cut funding for public schools since 2009. It even cut its funding during the Gonski funding period, after agreeing to increase it.

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New Figures Show States Have Cut Funding to Public Schools

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools across Australia since 2009. Total government funding per student in public schools was cut between 2009 and 2016 while large funding increases were provided to Catholic and Independent schools. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2016 funding increases for private schools far outstripped the increase for public schools.

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Another Failure of Govt Oversight of Private Schools

A report published last week by the Auditor-General found that the Department of Education has failed to ensure that the Catholic and Seventh-Day Adventist school systems are accountable for the way the spend Government funding. It said that the Department does not know how these systems distribute taxpayer funding to their member schools. The report also said that the Department has failed to adequately verify enrolments for funding purposes and monitor the governance of private schools.

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Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students

There is now a mountain of evidence that increased funding for low income and other disadvantaged students improves student results. The latest evidence comes from a study published in the April issue of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. It found that legislative reforms in the United States that led to increases in funding in low income school districts resulted in large increases in student achievement. Continue reading “Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students”

Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools

A report released last month by the Queensland Audit Office provides a revealing case study of how policy-related and governance factors can obstruct effective use of school funding. It shows that inadequate central oversight and support measures combined with heavy reliance on school autonomy has hampered effective use of funding in Queensland public schools. Continue reading “Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools”