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School Funding Undermines Choice; More Transparency Needed

Canberra, Monday March 25 2024



Australia’s school funding arrangements do not support choice, they undermine it, author and teacher Tom Greenwell will tell the landmark National Education Summit at Parliament House Canberra, on Tuesday 26 March 2024.


Current arrangements contribute to Australia’s unusually segregated school system with overwhelming evidence that concentrating disadvantaged students in public schools is a key structural weakness in our school system, and it needs to be addressed to improve student achievement.


“It is time for social segregation to be seriously addressed by all governments. A priority for the National School Resource Agreement, now being negotiated, is for improved measurement and reporting on the socio-economic diversity in schools, and its impacts on wellbeing and achievement,” Mr Greenwell says.


An immediate first step is for annual reporting for all schools to include:

  • the impact of compulsory fees and charges on the accessibility and affordability of schools for students from low-income and/or disadvantaged backgrounds;

  • the impact of selective enrolment practices on the accessibility of schools for students from low‑income and/or disadvantaged backgrounds;

  • the number of non-government schools that receive more combined government recurrent funding than the average public school of comparable student profile, size, and location; and

  • the number of non-government schools where private income is above the schooling resource standard for public schools with comparable student profiles, size and location.


Mr Greenwell will also call on the Commonwealth Government and all political parties to commit to an independent expert review into existing policy settings and new policy levers to increase socio‑economic diversity in schools and lift student outcomes.


“The Terms of Reference should allow the review to examine the policy levers that have been implemented internationally to increase socio-economic diversity, including those outlined in Improving Outcomes for All by the O’Brien Review,” he says.


Mr Greenwell will join Correna Haythorpe, Federal president, Australian Education Union, Prof. Pasi Sahlberg, Professor of Education Leadership, University of Melbourne, and Dyonne Anderson, Principal, NATSIPA President, CEO Stronger Smarter Institute to discuss School Funding and Educational Outcomes: The Equity Gap in Australia at 10.25am at Parliament House.


The Summit will be attended by Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare, Senator Penny Allman-Payne, Greens Education spokesperson, and Senator Sarah Henderson, Shadow Minister for Education.


Media enquiries: Andy Mison 0400202088 | Penny Underwood, 0409925299 


About ASPA:

The Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA) is the national peak body representing government secondary school leaders in every Australian state and territory.

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