Attached Belolw: Teese Report: From opportunity to outcomes. The changing role of public schooling in Australia and national funding arrangements.
The need for an immediate overhaul of the way schools are funded has been confirmed in a confidential report which says the current arrangements are increasing inequality and failing to deliver the resources that public schools need.
The research report by Professor Richard Teese from the University of Melbourne was commissioned by the government departments responsible for school education in all states and territories except NSW.
AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said the report, leaked to The Australian, found public schools were being starved of the funding they needed to ensure every child received a high quality education.
“This report presents the clearest possible evidence of the need for an immediate overhaul of the way our schools are funded by all levels of government,” Mr Gavrielatos said.
“Its conclusion is that funding policies, particularly at a federal level, have increased inequality in education.
“An analysis of enrolment patterns over a 20 year period shows that public schools continue to educate the overwhelming majority of students with higher educational needs. There has been no increase in the share of students in private schools in low SES areas.
“Governments are spending billions to help private schools to recruit students from wealthier backgrounds while public schools are inadequately resourced to deliver high quality outcomes for the vast majority of students with higher, more complex needs that remain in public schools.
“Rather than reducing inequality, the ways schools are funded has actually increased it. Gaps in the outcomes between advantaged and disadvantaged students are getting wider not smaller.
“As Professor Teese states: ‘Policies which intensify segregation weaken educational chances and lower overall performance levels.’”
“The report finds that public schools perform as well, if not better, than private schools once the different student populations are taken into account. But that is not good enough.
“What we must have as a nation are funding arrangements that help schools to ensure that all children achieve their full potential, regardless of their background.
“This can only be done by ensuring there are public schools of the highest quality, in every community.
“As the report concludes: ‘Basically there is no escaping the imperative of making strong public schooling available to every community.’”
Mr Gavrielatos said the report pointed to the critical task ahead with the Federal Government due within weeks to release the independent Gonski Review of schools funding in Australia and its response.
“The opportunity exists to make a fundamental change in the way we resource schools to set Australia up for the future,” he said.
If we are serious as a nation about lifting overall performance and closing the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students, there must be a renewed commitment to public education of the highest quality in every community.
“There also needs to be a new agreement between the Commonwealth and the State and Territory Governments that ends the current dysfunction and confusion in the way schools are resourced.
“This is a time when politicians of all parties must work together in the interests of our children and our nation’s future.”
Click Here: Read Teese Report Summary