Using the recently released NAPLAN results to create a ranked list of Australia’s schools, The Weekend Australian‘s Your School analysis demonstrates a clear divide in the results of high-fee private schools compared with those of their public school counterparts.
The publication provides information on over 9,000 schools nationwide, including state-by-state rankings of schools, which can be sorted by secondary, primary, most funded, least funded and more.
Independent schools currently make up three-quarters of all high schools in the top 100 according to overall performance.
The Your School analysis arrives at a time when the school funding debate appears to have been rekindled in maintstream media, recently stoked by comments from the Federal Minister for Education, Senator Simon Birmingham on ABC’s Q&A programme.
However, social and financial disadvantage have significant influence on education and, as Senior Lecturer in Research Methodology, Education Assessment and Evaluation at Sydney University, Rachel Wilson told The Weekend Australian, NAPLAN ‘was not a particularly sensitive test and was designed to set up benchmarks to identify schools that were performing poorly’.
As an example, Ms. Wilson points out that “Tasmania has a much lower income per capita and much higher levels of disadvantage and that’s reflected in their poorer performance”.
Australian Education Union president, Correna Haythorpe concurred, saying that public schools are “performing as well as private, once socio-economic background is taken into account”.