Fighting for Equity in Education

The struggle is long but hope is longer

Education Disadvantage is Being Ignored in the ACT Election Campaign

Posted on Tuesday October 11, 2016

Education disadvantage is the forgotten issue in the ACT election campaign despite its importance to the Territory’s social well-being and economic prosperity.< >> Read on...

School Funding and Equity in the ACT

Posted on Monday September 26, 2016

An Education Research Brief published by SOS calls for a new funding framework for ACT public schools to provide greater funding for disadvantaged students. >> Read on...

The ACT Education System Can Do Better

Posted on Saturday September 24, 2016

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’. >> Read on...

NAPLAN Results Show That the ACT Government Has Dropped the Ball on Education

Posted on Thursday August 4, 2016

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. >> Read on...

The ACT’s Underperfoming School System Warrants Independent Review

Posted on Tuesday December 8, 2015

The latest NAPLAN results show that the ACT school system (public and private) is underperforming on average student results, student progress and equity. >> Read on...

The ACT school system: An increasingly stratified, inequitable and dysfunctional schooling system

Posted on Thursday November 19, 2015

The ACT school system has become increasingly stratified and inequitable according to renowned education researcher Barbara Preston. >> Read on...

Is the ACT School System Underperforming?

Posted on Tuesday November 17, 2015

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. >> Read on...

ACT Chamber of Commerce Needs Education

Posted on Saturday February 1, 2014

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. >> Read on...

Islamic School Refused Registration

Posted on Friday January 24, 2014

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. >> Read on...

The Folly of ACT School Closures Revealed

Posted on Tuesday January 14, 2014

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. >> Read on...

Private School Registration in the ACT to be Strengthened

Posted on Monday December 2, 2013

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. >> Read on...

Schools Advisory Council Calls for More Transparency in the Registration of Private Schools

Posted on Thursday November 21, 2013

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. >> Read on...

Independent Panel to Review Private School Registration Process Welcomed

Posted on Tuesday August 27, 2013

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. >> Read on...

SOS Calls for Sweeping Changes on the Approval and Registration of Private Schools

Posted on Friday August 23, 2013

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. >> Read on...

Minister Ignored Dept Advice on New Private Schools

Posted on Thursday August 8, 2013

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. >> Read on...

Financial Questions About New Islamic School

Posted on Monday August 5, 2013

There are several financial issues about the new Islamic school in Canberra that need answers. >> Read on...

Registration of New Islamic School Should be Postponed

Posted on Friday August 2, 2013

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.< >> Read on...

Registration Panel for New Charnwood Private School is Biased

Posted on Tuesday July 23, 2013

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. >> Read on...

Secrecy Surrounds Review of the Registration of New ACT Private Schools

Posted on Tuesday July 9, 2013

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. >> Read on...

Call for Independent Review of the Private School Registration Process

Posted on Saturday June 1, 2013

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. < >> Read on...

Approval of New Belconnen Private School Conflicts With Previous Assessment

Posted on Friday May 10, 2013

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. < >> Read on...

Declining Standards and Inequity in ACT Education

Posted on Thursday October 11, 2012

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. >> Read on...

ACT Liberals Ignore Disadvantage to Defend Privilege

Posted on Monday September 3, 2012

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. >> Read on...

Huge Funding Bid by ACT Private Schools Should be Rejected

Posted on Thursday June 28, 2012

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. >> Read on...

Media Release: New Private School Applications Should be Rejected

Posted on Thursday May 24, 2012

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. >> Read on...

An Analysis of Trends in Enrolment Shares in ACT Schools

Posted on Wednesday August 3, 2011

Researcher Barbara Preston analyses enrolment shares by school sector in the ACT. >> Read on...

The ACT Schools System is Under-performing

Posted on Thursday July 7, 2011

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. >> Read on...

A High School Plan for the Well-Off

Posted on Thursday May 26, 2011

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. >> Read on...

Shameful ACT School Results are an Indictment of the Stanhope Government

Posted on Monday December 13, 2010

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. < >> Read on...

Flynn Welcomes Opportunity to Plan Community Hub

Posted on Wednesday May 19, 2010

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. >> Read on...

Flynn seeks urgent meeting after Anzac Day shock

Posted on Wednesday April 28, 2010

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. >> Read on...

My School Results Mark the Failure of the Stanhope Govt. on Education

Posted on Tuesday February 9, 2010

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. >> Read on...

Great reasons to restore heritage schools at Flynn, Tharwa and Hall

Posted on Sunday December 13, 2009

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. >> Read on...

Longer Student Suspensions are Ineffective

Posted on Saturday November 7, 2009

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. >> Read on...

Save Our Schools Calls for Major Effort to Reduce the Achievement Gap in ACT Schools

Posted on Wednesday October 28, 2009

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. >> Read on...

Broader Consultation Needed on the Future of the CIT Weston Site

Posted on Monday October 5, 2009

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. >> Read on...

Proposal to Re-locate the Islamic School Involves Major Policy Contradictions

Posted on Monday August 24, 2009

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. >> Read on...

More Training and Support is Needed for Parent Participation in Schools

Posted on Thursday May 7, 2009

Parent participation in schooling is in decline in the ACT and something drastic needs to be done to renew it. >> Read on...

Towards 2020: A Public Consultation Failure

Posted on Friday April 24, 2009

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. < >> Read on...

Issues for the School Closure Inquiry

Posted on Tuesday February 24, 2009

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. >> Read on...

Education Amendment Bill 2008

Posted on Tuesday December 16, 2008

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. >> Read on...

Minister Denies Parents Access to Super School

Posted on Wednesday December 10, 2008

The ACT Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, has unilaterally denied families access to the new super school in West Belconnen. < >> Read on...

The great school sell-off: schools closed for the land

Posted on Saturday November 15, 2008

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. >> Read on...

League tables used in ACT school closures

Posted on Wednesday October 15, 2008

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. >> Read on...

Student Outcomes Stagnate Under Stanhope Government

Posted on Sunday September 21, 2008

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. >> Read on...

ALP Education Policy is an Admission of Failure

Posted on Saturday September 20, 2008

The education policy announced by the ALP is an admission of Government failure in education over the past 7 years. >> Read on...

More Meaningless Rhetoric on Community Consultation

Posted on Monday July 28, 2008

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. >> Read on...

Do Smaller Classes Make a Difference and is it Cost Effective?

Posted on Monday July 28, 2008

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. < >> Read on...

ACT Government is in a Dither over Closed School Sites

Posted on Thursday June 19, 2008

The ACT Government is in a complete dither about what to do with the closed school sites. >> Read on...

SOS Briefing Paper - Minister for Education Disowns Budget Figures

Posted on Friday May 30, 2008

At the Budget Estimates hearings last week on education, the Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, effectively disowned the Chief Minister’s budget figures. >> Read on...

False Claims by Minister on ACT Budget

Posted on Wednesday May 21, 2008

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. >> Read on...

Barr's divide and conquer strategy

Posted on Wednesday April 30, 2008

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.< >> Read on...

False Claims by Minister on ACER Report

Posted on Tuesday April 1, 2008

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. < >> Read on...

Self-Congratulation on School Results Ignores Real Problems

Posted on Thursday February 7, 2008

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.< >> Read on...

Barr's spin on PC 2008 Report into Government Services

Posted on Thursday February 7, 2008

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 >> Read on...

Proposed ACT Schools Standards Authority - Discussion Points

Posted on Wednesday February 6, 2008

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. >> Read on...

Media Release - ACT Greens (4 Febuary 2008)

Posted on Tuesday February 5, 2008

ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey has said the ACT Government’s education policy is failing too many Canberra students.< >> Read on...

Schools sacrificed because Government has misled the public

Posted on Saturday December 22, 2007

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. >> Read on...

Barr loses track of his students in Towards 2020 upheaval

Posted on Monday December 3, 2007

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.< >> Read on...

Economists Say Budget Surplus is Unjustified

Posted on Sunday August 19, 2007

Several well-known economists have criticised the large Budget surplus recorded by the ACT Government and have accused it of poor economic management. >> Read on...

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