Research and Studies


SOS: Funding gap between public and private schools will accelerate over the next decade

Commonwealth Government funding of schools is now a complete schemozzle. The Morrison Government has abandoned public schools and blatantly favoured private schools with billion-dollar special deals. These deals will accelerate the funding gap between public schools and private schools over the next decade.

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SOS: The Private School Funding Model is Deeply Flawed - A New Approach is Needed

Six months ago, the Morrison Government changed the method used to determine Commonwealth funding of private schools. It adopted a direct measure of the income of families called Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) to assess their capacity to contribute to school income and thereby determine the level of Commonwealth funding for each private school. It will provide a net funding increase of $3.5 billion to private schools over the next 10 years compared to the previous method of funding.

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SOS: Shocking New Expose of Catholic Church’s Rorting of Taxpayer Funding

Documents leaked to the ABC expose shocking rorting of taxpayer funding by the NSW Catholic school system with the approval of Catholic bishops. It is the latest in a long line of exposes about misuse of government funding by Catholic systems and which successive Coalition and Labor governments have meekly acquiesced to.

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SOS: The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Australia

Australia has long been infected by what world renowned Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg, currently professor of education at the Gonski Institute of Education in Sydney, coined as GERM (Global Education Reform Movement). It is characterised by corporate management policies, test-based accountability of schools and fostering competition between schools to drive improvement in education outcomes. One manifestation of GERM is a bloated bureaucracy to police compliance with regulations, collect and record information and monitor performance.

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SOS: Public Schools Face a Funding Crisis; Private Schools Are in Clover

The latest figures published by the Australian Curriculum, Reporting and Assessment Authority (ACARA) show that government funding increases continue to massively favour private schools over public schools. As a result, Catholic and Independent schools are far better resourced than public schools in every state even though public schools enrol over 80 per cent of all disadvantaged students and 95 per cent of all disadvantaged schools are public schools. This funding trend is set to continue under current funding arrangements and more special deals for private schools from the Morrison Government. It is a recipe for continuing educational, social and economic inequality.

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SOS: New Study Shows that the Social Composition of Schools Strongly Influences School Results

There is extensive research evidence of the impact of family background on student results. Many studies from the United States, the United Kingdom, the OECD and Australia also show a school socio-economic composition (SEC) effect whereby students attending schools with a high concentration of students from poor families tend to have lower results than students from similar backgrounds attending schools with higher proportions of students from well-off backgrounds.

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SOS: Teachers say there is too much administrative work and stress in schools

Save our Schools: Over half of all secondary school teachers in Australia report that they have too much administrative work which takes away time for preparing for classes and is a major source of stress. Nearly one quarter say they experience a lot of stress at school. These are amongst the highest proportions in the OECD. They are significant factors behind teachers leaving the profession.

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SOS: Low SES Schools Have Far Less Resources than High SES Schools

New data from the OECD’s Programme for International Assessments (PISA) in 2018 show that Australia allocates more and better quality teacher and physical resources to high socio-economic status (SES) secondary schools than to low SES schools.

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SOS: The Facts About School Funding in South Australia

Total government funding per student in South Australian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by nearly ten times that for public schools between 2009 and 2017. During the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increase for private schools was about twenty times that for public schools.

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SOS: More Studies Show That Money Really Does Matter in Education

Three new US studies have found that increasing funding for disadvantaged students increases school results. They bring to 21 the number of studies in the last five years showing that funding increases targeted at disadvantaged students improves achievement. This is a remarkable degree of unanimity amongst education economists. Even notorious sceptics of the worth of increasing school spending such as Professor Eric Hanushek from Stanford University (USA) and The Economist magazine have been forced to concede that money matters for disadvantaged students.

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SOS: School Choice Increases Social Segregation and Inequity in Education

A new OECD report, Balancing School Choice and Equity, shows that school choice policies have increased social and academic segregation between schools which, in turn, reduced equity in education. Australia is a prime example of the impact of choice on social segregation in schools. School choice has been at the centre of education policy for the last 20 or more years. Australia now has one of the most socially and academically segregated school systems in the OECD and has highly inequitable education outcomes.

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On the Definition of Equity in Education

The Gonski Institute for Education recently published a valuable paper on equity in education titled Improving Educational Equity in Australian Education. It discusses what is equity, why equity in education matters and makes recommendations for improving equity in education.

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A simple moral choice: some children or all children?

A simple moral choice: some children or all children?

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Funding Increases for Private Schools Continue to Outstrip Increases for Public Schools

Funding Increases for Private Schools Continue to Outstrip Increases for Public Schools

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Govt. Concealing Catholic Schools’ Use of Taxpayer Funds

Public accountability for the use of taxpayer funding is a fundamental tenet of democratic government. Yet, this principle has long been ignored by Catholic education authorities who refuse to reveal how they distribute government funding amongst their schools despite it being a legislative requirement.

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Funding Agreements Defraud Public Schools

Funding Agreements Defraud Public Schools

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Money Matters for Student Outcomes

A new comprehensive review of academic studies in the United States has found overwhelming evidence of a strong causal relationship between increased school spending and student outcomes.

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WA Public Schools lose billions under new education agreement

Public schools will lose about $6.1 billion in funding over ten years from 2018 under the new Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments published last week.

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Public Schools Are Swindled by Billions Under New Education Agreements

Public Schools Are Swindled by Billions Under New Education Agreements

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SOS Education Research Brief

The Brief summarises data contained in a just published UNICEF report which shows that Australia has nearly the most unequal education system in the developed world.

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Advantaged Schools Get First Call on the best Teachers

A research paper published today by Save Our Schools shows that Australia allocates more and better teacher resources to socio-economically advantaged schools than to disadvantaged schools.

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Massive Gaps in Teacher Resources Between Disadvantaged and Advantaged Schools

Australia allocates more teacher resources to socio-economically advantaged schools than to disadvantaged schools. Disadvantaged schools in Australia have more students per teacher, more teacher shortages, more teacher absenteeism, more poorly qualified teachers. Read more.

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SOS Education Policy Brief on Special Deal for Private Schools

Morrison puts more nails in the coffin of Gonski.The analysis shows that the deal further undermines the principle of needs-based funding in several ways

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State Govts evade their commitments to public schools

Labor and Coalition state governments are trying to evade commitments to increase their funding of public schools through a subterfuge.

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SOS - The State of School Funding in Australia

SOS - The State of School Funding in Australia

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Pushing past the fear of missing out technologically

Pushing past the fear of missing out technologically

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ACT Private Schools get the mother of all special deals

ACT Private Schools Get the Mother of all Special Deals

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New Figures Confirm More Private Schools Will be Over-Funded Under Gonski 2.0

New Figures Confirm More Private Schools Will be Over-Funded Under Gonski 2.0

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Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls from Turnbull Government

​Several wealthy Melbourne private schools are set to get large windfall gains from the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding model after revisions to their assessed student need.

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Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms

Teach for Australia (TFA) has abjectly failed to answer criticisms of the program. Save Our Schools has criticised TFA on several grounds.

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Teach for Australia is failing in its mission

An evaluation report on the fast-track teacher training program, Teach for Australia (TFA), raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the program.

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PISA Rankings Are Misleading Because of Differences in Student Coverage

One of the standout performers in the results from PISA 2015 was Vietnam. It achieved a ranking of 8th in science with a score of 525, which was significantly above Australia’s score of 510.

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Gonski 2.0 is a fraud

The Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding plan is a fraud. It is a fraud because it delivers much less funding to public schools and much more for private schools than Gonski 1.0.

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Turnbull Plan AEU Senate Submission

AEU submission to Gonski 2 Senate Committee

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Gonski 2.0 is a 40% Gonski

This is the first in a series of articles to be published by Save Our Schools on the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 school funding plan. The next article will examine private school funding.

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Social Segregation in Australian Schools is Amongst the Highest in the World

A new report released by the OECD shows that social segregation in Australian schools is amongst the highest in the world. Australia has the 8th highest rate of social segregation out of 71 countries participating in the OECD’s Programme of International Students Assessments in 2015.

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Hidden Cost of East Asian Test Results

This brief draws on new data from PISA 2015 released by the OECD on student well-being. It shows that while East Asian countries are at the top of the league table of test scores, they are at the bottom in student well-being.

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