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. It shows that Australia is the equal 2nd most unequal education system with Slovakia and only marginally behind New Zealand on a combined ranking of education inequality across pre-school, primary and secondary schooling. Australia is ranked 36th out of 41 countries in inequality in pre-school attendance, 25th out of 29 countries in inequality in primary school reading achievement and 30th out of 38 countries in inequality in secondary school reading achievement.
The report complements a recent OECD report titled Equity in Education which shows that Australia has one of the most segregated school systems in the OECD and the world. There is a clear link between social segregation and education performance in Australia.
The extent of education inequality in Australia is a national calamity. To be the 2nd most unequal education system in the developed world is disgraceful and scandalous. It is completely unacceptable for a nation that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos. . Commonwealth and state government education and funding policies must give much greater priority to reducing inequality.
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