Education disadvantage is the forgotten issue in the ACT election campaign despite its importance to the Territory’s social well-being and economic prosperity.<
An Education Research Brief published by SOS calls for a new funding framework for ACT public schools to provide greater funding for disadvantaged students.
A speech by Trevor Cobbold to a seminar sponsored by the Institute of Governance in Canberra on the topic ‘What or How Much Value Does the ACT Education System Add to Your Child’s Learning’.
The new NAPLAN results show that the ACT school system continues to under-perform given its advantaged population. The results are a condemnation of Government inaction on school education. They warrant a full, public independent inquiry.
The latest NAPLAN results show that the ACT school system (public and private) is underperforming on average student results, student progress and equity.
The ACT school system has become increasingly stratified and inequitable according to renowned education researcher Barbara Preston.
Despite its high average results, the ACT has a low equity school system with large gaps between high and low performing students and between high and low SES students. After nearly 15 years in government, Labor has failed to make a dent in inequity in education.
In calling for expenditure on ACT government schools to be cut to the level of NSW and Victoria, the Chamber of Commerce has failed to understand the reasons for higher expenditure in the ACT.
The ACT Minister for Education has refused to register a proposed new Islamic School after a damning review shows that it would not be financially viable and failed to meet the educational and student safety requirements of the ACT Education Act.
Education Minister Joy Burch has exposed the folly of the 2006 school closures as an expensive and short-sighted mistake. The ACT Government has spent millions in expanding capacity in areas where schools were closed.
The registration process for private schools in the ACT is to be strengthened following the endorsement of the recommendations of a review by the ACT Minister for Education.
The ACT Government Schools Education Council has called for changes to the registration process for private schools. It says that the transparency and objectivity of the process should be improved.
Save Our Schools has welcomed the appointment of an independent panel to advise the ACT Minister for Education on the review of the in-principle approval and registration process for private schools in the ACT.
Save Our Schools has called for sweeping changes to the legislation and administrative regulations governing the approval and registration of new ACT private schools. It has made 23 recommendations for change in a submission to the Government review.
Information obtained through a FOI request by Save Our Schools shows that the ACT Minister for Education ignored advice by her department in granting in-principle approval for two new private schools.
There are several financial issues about the new Islamic school in Canberra that need answers.
The ACT Education Minister should postpone consideration of the application of At-Taqwa Islamic school for provisional registration until the school obtains a permanent site.<
The ACT Education Minister has established a biased panel with a majority of members from private schools to assess the registration application for the new campus of Brindabella Christian College (BCC) in Charnwood. The ACT private school registration process is now a self-regulatory system even though private schools are extensively funded by the taxpayer.
Secrecy surrounds the review of the approval and registration process for new private schools in the ACT. There has been no public announcement of the review or how it will be conducted. It looks like it will be a charade.
The ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union, the ACT Council of P&C Associations and Save Our Schools have written to the ACT Education Minister and the Chief Minister calling for an independent review of the registration process for private schools in the ACT. The letter outlines six major problems with the current process that warrant a review. <
The new private school in Belconnen has been approved even though a similar application by another private school was rejected only five years ago because of excess capacity in the area. <
The ACT has high average school outcomes but they have declined over the past decade. It also has amongst the largest achievement gaps between the top and bottom students of all countries participating in international tests and the largest achievement gap between rich and poor in Australia.
The ACT Liberal Party has promised to increase private school funding by nearly $20 million if elected. Most of this will go to high income schools. The Liberals have ignored the real injustice in ACT schools – the massive achievement gap between rich and poor.
Private schools in Canberra are pressuring for a massive across-the-board 43% increase in funding by the ACT Government. The claim should be rejected as it will compound privileged funding for high SES private schools and reduce the funding available to address the large achievement gap between rich and poor students.
Save Our Schools has called on the ACT Government to reject applications for new private schools in Charnwood and Molonglo. The Charnwood school would threaten the viability of existing schools in north-west Belconnen. The potential impact of the Molonglo school cannot be assessed because school planning for the region is not complete.
Researcher Barbara Preston analyses enrolment shares by school sector in the ACT.
The ACT schools system is underperforming. It has high quality outcomes, but they have declined since 2000 and there are large achievement gaps between rich and poor. A comprehensive and well-funded education plan is needed to improve equity in education.
The new plan for Canberra’s government secondary schools will provide a second class education for the less well-off. The well-off get more challenging options and pathways. The disadvantaged get more vocational education and at younger ages as well as another round of rhetoric about engaging students and parents.
The new report of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that education standards are declining and inequity is increasing in the ACT. They are an indictment of the education record of the Stanhope Government after nearly a decade in office. <
After a long dispute with the ACT Government over the future of the site of the closed Flynn school, the Flynn community has welcomed plans for a childcare centre and sustainable community hub on the site.
The Flynn school community in Canberra is left out in the cold again by the failure of the ACT Government to consult with the community on the announcement of a new child care centre for the school site.
It is time that the Chief Minister and his Minister for Education focussed on the main challenge facing ACT education. It is to reduce the massive achievement gap between rich and poor in Canberra’s schools.
The ACT Government has a great opportunity this week to move to restore and open heritage-cited schools at Flynn, Tharwa and Hall in response to new information and community support.
The ACT Government and the Liberal Opposition want to give principals in government and Catholic schools discretion to suspend students for longer without higher level approval, but they ignore extensive research evidence that longer suspensions are ineffective and counter-productive.
Representatives of Save Our Schools have told an inquiry into the achievement gap in ACT schools that there is a large difference in school results between students from high and low income families.
Save Our Schools has made a submission to the community consultation on the ACT Government’s proposal to re-locate the Islamic School to the CIT Weston site.
It seems that the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, and the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, have got their messages mixed – yet again. The ACT Government’s approach to school planning is shown once again to be riven by policy contradictions.
Parent participation in schooling is in decline in the ACT and something drastic needs to be done to renew it.
Summary of the SOS submission to the inquiry into school closures being conducted by the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs of the ACT Legislative Assembly. <
There are several issues relating to the Towards 2020 consultation process that should be considered in the inquiry into school closures under the Towards 2020 plan.
The Parliamentary Convenor of the ACT Greens, Meredith Hunter, has tabled a bill in the Legislative Assembly to amend the school closure provisions of the Education Act. This posting contains the tabling statement.
The ACT Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, has unilaterally denied families access to the new super school in West Belconnen. <
The battle over schools continues with a revelation that the Stanhope Government closed schools according to their capacity to earn a quick dollar from real estate sales.
Schedules to Freedom of Information (FOI) papers and the findings of a related Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing provide strong evidence that the results from student literacy and numeracy testing, were used in the 2006 school closures.
Save Our Schools has released a 55-page study which shows that student outcomes in the ACT have stagnated since 2001 when the Stanhope Government was first elected. SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the report is a damning indictment of the Government’s record in education.
The education policy announced by the ALP is an admission of Government failure in education over the past 7 years.
The Chief Minister’s proposals for the reform of community consultation processes in the ACT amount to more meaningless rhetoric from a Government under pressure.
The Liberal Party proposal to reduce class sizes from about 30 to 21 in Years 4-6 in government schools will be popularly received. However, across the board reductions in class sizes are expensive and there are more cost effective ways to improve student outcomes. <
The ACT Government is in a complete dither about what to do with the closed school sites.
At the Budget Estimates hearings last week on education, the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, effectively disowned the Chief Minister’s budget figures.
Claims by the ACT Government that it is increasing per capita funding for government schools in 2008–09 are false and contrary to its own Budget papers.
The real motive of ACT Education Andrew Barr in attacking the Canberra Liberals plan to reopen empty schools appears to be a more sinister attempt to repeat the divisive tactics he succesfully used in the 2006 shcool closure campaign.<
It is time Minister Barr stopped his ‘spin’ of false claims to distract attention from the large achievement gap between low and high SES students and got on with the job of doing something about it. <
There was an orgy of self-congratulation by the ACT Government following the publication of national school results last week. In the extravagance, some irksome realities were ignored.<
The latest Productivity Commission report, the 2008 Report on Government Services, has been used by Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and Minister for Education Andrew Barr to justify their scorched earth approach to education reform
The ACT Minister for Education has released a discussion paper on the establishment of an ACT Schools Standards Authority. The proposal is to expand the function of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies to be responsible for establishing and monitoring educational standards from pre-school to Year 12.
ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey has said the ACT Government’s education policy is failing too many Canberra students.<
Parents and children at Cook and Village Creek Primary Schools and Kambah High School, all of which closed today, have had their lives disrupted and face higher financial costs all because the ACT Government misled the public.
The ACT Minister for Education and Training, has refused to provide a report on the geographic distribution of ACT students amongst government schools, leading to the conclusion that his Department does not routinely maintain its own records of student information.<
Several well-known economists have criticised the large Budget surplus recorded by the ACT Government and have accused it of poor economic management.