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1. School Funding and Educational Outcomes: The Equity Gap in Australia

Public schools educate more than 80 percent of students in our lowest socioeconomic strata and face the highest proportion of systemic disadvantage. Some estimates suggest that the achievement gap for such students has tripled, as indicated by the decline in academic performance in Australia. To address the disparities in educational outcomes between advantaged and disadvantaged students, we urgently need to fully fund public schools to the School Resource Standard. Currently, only 1.3% of public schools meet this standard, which is well below the OECD average. Every young person in Australia deserves the opportunity to succeed.

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ASPA's Best Next Steps

1. The 2024 Better Fairer Schools Agreement must ensure every school is funded to 100% of the SRS by 2026, at a minimum

2. The full funding quantum should go to schools, without the 4% loophole for capital depreciation, and spending on school transport, regulatory authorities, and other costs

3. Increase the additional loadings for disadvantaged schools to catch up and develop a plan for effectively resourcing inclusive education in our public  secondary schools.

4. Amend the School Upgrade Fund as a broader School Infrastructure Fund, that includes a priority for the provision of reliable high speed internet access for all secondary students.

5. For all school sectors the Australian Government Schools Funding Report must:

  • Measure and report on social segregation between schools and its effect on student wellbeing and achievement

  • Assess and report on the accessibility and affordability of Australian schools

  • Assess and report on the fiscal impacts of government funding of non-government schools

Guest Articles

Related links and resources

Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System - Summary Report 2023

School Autonomy Reform and Social Justice in Australian Public Schooling

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