Parents Voice in Government School Education

Equity in schooling: PV media comment

Research quoted in an article in today’s Herald-Sun shows that there is a strong link between the socio-economic status of a school’s community, and the NAPLAN scores of its students. The article points out that this effect crosses the public/private divide – government schools in affluent areas may out-perform expensive private schools.

Parents Victoria Executive Officer Gail McHardy is quoted in the article. Gail said it was important all school sectors were funded on an equity basis.

“Those schools with students mainly from low SES backgrounds require much more funding, and many more resources, to bring their students to an equal playing field,” Ms McHardy said.

“If the NAPLAN results show this to the federal and state governments, then we must ask why the federal funding model is not reflective of that need for fairer distribution to our public schools.”

The Herald-Sun report draws on a research paper from the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education by Dr Jenny Chesters and Prof. Anne Daly, titled Family and school effects on educational achievement across the school career. The report makes for very interesting reading. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:

The persistence of inequality in levels of educational achievement and attainment associated with parents’ education suggests that Australian education systems are reproducing, rather than alleviating, social inequality.

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