Save Our Schools has called for a complete overhaul of school funding arrangements in a submission to the School Funding Review. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that a new funding model is necessary to better direct government funding at improving equity in education.
“Current government funding policies are failing the disadvantaged. High proportions of students from low socio-economic families, Indigenous students and remote area students are not achieving adequate outcomes. There are massive achievement gaps between these students and those from high income families.
“Reducing these achievement gaps is the biggest challenge facing Australia’s education system. It requires new funding arrangements for both government and private schools.
“Funding of government schools has failed to provide sufficient resources to schools serving low income, Indigenous and remote area students.
“About $6 billion in over-funding has been wasted on the wealthiest schools and families in Australia through the current SES funding model for private schools.”
The SOS submission makes three major recommendations.
•It calls for an increase in funding for government schools of $6-9 billion a year to start reducing the large achievement gaps.
•It recommends that the SES funding model for private schools be terminated and replaced by a new funding model which integrates government funding of government and private schools.
•It suggests that a federal schools commission be established to co-ordinate school funding.
Mr. Cobbold said that a new integrated school funding model for government and private schools should have four main features: a community standard of resources, a baseline funding component, an individual equity funding component; and a social equity funding component.