Mixed ACT Results from TIMSS & PIRLS 2011

The ACT achieved mixed results in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) for 2011. ACT students achieved high average results but there was little improvement since 1995 and it has large achievement gaps in Year 8. Continue reading “Mixed ACT Results from TIMSS & PIRLS 2011”

Urgent Action is Needed on Shameful ACT School Results

A research paper released today by Save Our Schools shows that ACT school results have fallen since 2001 and that achievement gaps between the top and bottom students are amongst the largest of all developed countries.

SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the results are an indictment of ACT education policy over the past decade and he called for an independent public inquiry to set a new direction. Continue reading “Urgent Action is Needed on Shameful ACT School Results”

Declining Standards and Inequity in ACT Education

This is a summary of a new report published by Save Our Schools on school outcomes in the ACT. It can be downloaded below.

The ACT has high average school outcomes but they have declined over the past decade. It also has amongst the largest achievement gaps between the top and bottom students of all countries participating in international tests and the largest achievement gap between rich and poor in Australia. The gaps have not reduced over the last decade. Continue reading “Declining Standards and Inequity in ACT Education”

ACT Liberals Ignore Disadvantage to Defend Privilege

Tony Abbott recently claimed that private schools are the victims of an “injustice” because they get less public funding than government schools.

ACT Liberals have taken up this claim with a vengeance in their election promise to increase funding for private schools. They have revealed their true colours – their first priority is to support better-off families, not low income families.

They ignore the real injustice in ACT education – a massive achievement gap between rich and poor. Increased funding for private schools can only compound this gap.

Continue reading “ACT Liberals Ignore Disadvantage to Defend Privilege”

Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected

This article is a summary of an Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below.

Private schools in Canberra are pressuring for a massive across-the-board 43% increase in funding by the ACT Government. They want Territory funding increased from about 17.5% to 25% of average government school costs.

The Catholic Education Commission, the ACT Association of Independent Schools and the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools have all called for the increase to be applied to all private schools. Undoubtedly, this will be the focus of a private school campaign in the lead up to the ACT election this October.

The proposed increase would amount to about $19 million a year on 2010 funding figures, increasing from $44 million to $63 million. Catholic schools would receive an increase of $13.5 million and Independent schools $5.4 million.

This is an incredible claim which should be rejected on several grounds. It would compound the already privileged funding position of high socio-economic status (SES) private schools in the ACT. It is contrary to the new approach to school funding being developed following the Gonski review of school funding in Australia. It would reduce the funding available to address the major challenge facing ACT education – the large achievement gap between rich and poor students

Continue reading “Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected”

New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding

Save Our Schools has accused two Canberra private schools of using a loophole to get extra Federal funding. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the two schools will gain $2.4 million in additional funding by establishing new campuses of existing schools rather than for new stand alone schools. Continue reading “New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding”

New Private School Applications Should be Rejected

Save Our Schools has called on the ACT Government to reject applications for new private schools in Charnwood and Molonglo. SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the ACT Government has previously rejected a proposal for a new private school in north-west Belconnen because it would impact on existing schools and the Charnwood application should be similarly rejected. Continue reading “New Private School Applications Should be Rejected”

An Analysis of Trends in Enrolment Shares in ACT Schools

New school census figures for the ACT earlier this year provoked national publicity because they showed that Territory had become the first state or territory with most students in private schools at any level. The figures showed that there are more ACT students in private high schools (years 7 to 10 in the ACT) than in public schools.

An analysis of enrolment trends by the researcher Barbara Preston shows that there are several reasons for the higher share of enrolments by the private sector in the ACT compared to Australia.

Continue reading “An Analysis of Trends in Enrolment Shares in ACT Schools”

The ACT School System is Under-Performing

The ACT school system is under-performing. It has very high quality outcomes, but results have declined over the period of the Labor Government and there is extensive social inequity with a large achievement gap between students from low and high income families. Social segregation is also increasing.

Continue reading “The ACT School System is Under-Performing”

A High School Plan for the Well-Off

The new plan for Canberra’s government secondary schools will provide a second class education for the less well-off. The well-off get more challenging options and pathways. The disadvantaged get more vocational education and at younger ages – oh, they also get another round of rhetoric about engaging students and parents.

The plan is likely to exacerbate the large achievement gap between rich and poor, which is already about the largest in Australia. It is also a step backwards from comprehensive education in government schools. It is likely lead to greater social segregation of students between schools and within schools. Continue reading “A High School Plan for the Well-Off”