Public Schools are the Equal of Private Schools

A new analysis of school NAPLAN test results published by Save Our Schools shows that the results in public schools are just as good as those in private schools. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the results show that public schools are a good choice for parents and they should not be beguiled by misleading private school marketing.

“Our study shows that the often-presumed better results of private schools are a myth. Public schools are the equal of private schools. Public, Catholic and Independent schools with a similar socio-economic composition have very similar results in nearly all states and the ACT.

“Medium SES public, Catholic and Independent schools have very similar results in most states and the ACT. For the most part, there are only minor differences that are within the margin of statistical error. Medium SES schools account for 60-70% of schools in all states except the ACT.

“There is more variation amongst high SES schools. Public schools achieve significantly better results than private schools in the two highest high SES categories in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia while the results are similar in Queensland. These are the only states with schools in all three sectors in these categories. Results are very similar between public, Catholic and Independent schools at the bottom of the high SES category.

“Little can be made of comparisons of results for low SES schools because there are very few Catholic and Independent schools of this type. It is public schools which largely serve poor communities.”

Mr. Cobbold said that the new study is the first comprehensive compilation of school results by SES categories for public, Catholic and Independent schools in all states. It compares the Year 9 2013 NAPLAN reading results for low, medium and high SES public, Catholic and Independent metropolitan schools in all states and the ACT using data drawn from the My School website.

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