Monday, 29 Jun 2015

29 June 2015: The latest Australian Education Review released today calls for an independent body to develop a consistent, logical, transparent and fair schools funding model across all sectors.

In Australian Education Review 60, Imperatives in Schools Funding: Equity, sustainability and achievement, Lyndsay Connors and Jim McMorrow draw on their experience in leadership roles in education, including schools funding policy, to examine the background to the Gonski Report and the political responses by both major parties, and to outline the funding conditions required to support a strong and healthy education system.

According to Connors and McMorrow, in an equitable, high-quality, efficient and effective school system, public funding would be used to ensure that:

  • all schools have adequate and appropriate resources to enable their students to achieve their personal best, against agreed curriculum standards;
  • schools in receipt of public funding are working within agreed resource standards, so that parents have confidence that their children will not be disadvantaged by attending their local schools;
  • schools are able to provide their students with access to the full range and depth of curriculum, through well-prepared and qualified teachers and with the support of information and communication technology; 
  • schools are cooperating and collaborating within and across sectors, to ensure the most efficient and effective use of resources, in the best interests of all students;
  • schools have the resources to support school leaders and teachers in their work through all stages of their careers, including through professional learning, within an agreed standards framework; and
  • teaching is competitive with other professions for highly educated, motivated and capable recruits.

“Greater priority in public funding will need to be given to those schools enrolling a disproportionate share of students at most risk of leaving school without the knowledge and skills needed for active participation in our society,” Connors and McMorrow conclude.

“In a stronger and healthier hybrid system for the future, the conditions and responsibilities that apply to public funding will need to be more consistent across all schools, with a closer link between public funding and educational goals and priorities in order to maximise student outcomes overall.”

The Australian Education Review series from the Australian Council for Educational Research provides research literature reviews, analysis and commentary on contemporary issues in education. Imperatives in Schools Funding: Equity, sustainability and achievement is available for purchase in hard copy or free download in PDF at www.acer.edu.au/aer

Lyndsay Connors and Jim McMorrow are available for comment.

Download this media release as a pdf