UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD - approach the future with purpose, rigour and ambition, committed to shared prosperity

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  • Uneven playing field: The state of Australia’s schools

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    UNEVEN PLAYING FIELD THE STATE OF AUSTRALIA’S SCHOOLS

    JUNE 2016

    BY CHRIS BONNOR & BERNIE SHEPHERD

  • Uneven playing field: The state of Australia’s schools

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    CONTENTS

    AUTHORS ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4! ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................................................................................ 4! ABOUT CPD .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5! ABBREVIATIONS ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 6! EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................................. 7! REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS .............................................................................................................................................................. 11! INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................................ 12! SECTION 1: THE SCHOOLS PAST ........................................................................................................................... 14! HOW OUR CURRENT FRAMEWORK OF SCHOOLS EVOLVED ........................................................................................................... 15! THE REVIEW OF FUNDING FOR SCHOOLING (THE GONSKI REVIEW) ............................................................................................ 17! THE GONSKI REVIEW FINDINGS – HOW RELEVANT ARE THEY TODAY? ....................................................................................... 19! SECTION 2: THE SCHOOLS PRESENT .................................................................................................................... 21! THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MY SCHOOL ..................................................................................................................................................... 21! THE EQUITY PRIORITY .............................................................................................................................................................................. 23! ENROLMENT SHIFTS BETWEEN SCHOOLS ......................................................................................................................................... 27! WHICH STUDENTS ARE MOVING? ........................................................................................................................................................ 29! IMPACTS ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT ............................................................................................................................................... 31! A DEVELOPING SCHOOL HIERARCHY ................................................................................................................................................... 34! IMPACTS ON THE SCHOOL AND ITS COMMUNITY ............................................................................................................................ 36! REDRESSING THE BALANCE: THE ROLE AND REALITIES OF FUNDING ......................................................................................... 39! Funding the need ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 39! Funding the sectors ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 41! The federal funding fiasco ................................................................................................................................................................................... 49! Does money go to where it matters? ............................................................................................................................................................... 51! SECTION 3: THE SCHOOL FUTURE ......................................................................................................................... 55! WHERE ARE WE HEADING? .................................................................................................................................................................... 55! IF THE TRENDS CONTINUE ..................................................................................................................................................................... 55! Inequity will rise ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 56! Enrolments will continue to shift to advantaged schools ........................................................................................................................ 56! Disadvantage will concentrate further ............................................................................................................................................................ 57! The school hierarchies will deepen ................................................................................................................................................................... 57! Schools will increasingly detach from the local community .................................................................................................................... 58! Funding imbalance will widen .............................................................................................................................................................................. 58! Our investment may remain poorly targeted ................................................................................................................................................. 59! Student achievement will continue to diverge ............................................................................................................................................. 60!

  • Uneven playing field: The state of Australia’s schools

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    The costs of failing to tackle inequity and disadvantage will mount .................................................................................................... 61! CURRENT AND LIKELY FUTURE PRIORITIES ........................................................................................................................................ 63! Searching for solutions ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 65! SOME ELEMENTS OF A PREFERRED FUTURE ..................................................................................................................................... 66! Creating authentic choice in a narrow market .............................................................................................................................................. 67! Co-ordinating the funding of schools and revitalising Gonski ................................................................................................................. 68! Restoring the public in our education system .............................................................................................................................................. 69! Matching funding and obligation ........................................................................................................................................................................ 70! CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................................................................................... 74! WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO? ................................................................................................................................................................... 74! DELIVERING A BETTER ERA OF GONSKI-DRIVEN EDUCATION ........................................................................................................ 75! APPENDIX 1: We did it our way: managing non-government schools in the education framework ..................................... 77! APPENDIX 2: Key Gonski findings ........................................................................................................................................................ 79! APPENDIX 3: The misuse of User Cost of Capital in funding comparisons ................................................................................ 81! APPENDIX 4: How can the government funding numbers be so different? ............................................................................... 82! ENDNOTES ................................................................................................................................................................ 85!

    FIGURES

    Figure 1: Social gradients in PISA reading literacy by country, 2009 ......................................................................................... 24! Figure 2: Socio-educational gradient of 2015 .......