Australian governments are allocating record funding to schools but there are growing inequities and many children are slipping behind, according to the moderator of an upcoming webinar on schooling policy.
The event, a collaboration between The University of Western Australia’s Public Policy Institute and Graduate School of Education, will be moderated by Associate Professor Glenn Savage who said the new Federal Government had a ‘golden opportunity’ to rethink funding.
“Australian governments are currently committing record levels of funding and resources to Australian schools, but we are not seeing the desired results,” Associate Professor Savage said.
“Despite unprecedented spending, schooling policy priorities are not delivering the changes we need and this can be seen in a broad range of areas from declining academic achievement through to ongoing inequalities of education outcome.”
The webinar panel will include Laureate Professor Jenny Gore, Director of the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre at the University of Newcastle; Dr Zid Mancenido, Senior Manager (Research and Evaluation) of the Australian Education Research Organisation; Bevan Ripp, President of the Principals Federation of Western Australia; and Dr Marnee Shay, Senior Research Fellow at The University of Queensland’s School of Education.
Mr Ripp said student performance would improve when governments stopped focusing on assessment regimes such as NAPLAN as the primary data set to measure the performance of schools.
“Governments need to rise above politics to come together to better resource public schools, both in the human and physical sense,” Mr Ripp said. “They should start with teacher education and better support new teachers.”
Dr Shay said in approaching reform, governments should look at the evidence.
“There is an abundance of high-quality research in education globally about how to address critical issues,” Dr Shay said.
Register for A new reform agenda for Australian schooling policy on Thursday 1 September here.
Cecile O’Connor (UWA Media & PR Advisor) 6488 6876