Rethinking The Education Revolution: Sydney Uni

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25th March 2010, 05:08pm - Views: 841
Rethinking the Education Revolution: Sydney Uni Seeks Informed Debate on Schools Funding

The Rudd Government's My School web site has been criticised for its lack of disclosure about the comparative resource levels of schools, while inviting public comparison of their performance. As a contribution to the debate on the Rudd Government's proposed review of schools funding, two Sydney University academics have crafted a new Funding Model which would even up government funding allocations between schools and raise the quality of Australian school education as a whole.

In a report to be launched on 24 March, Lyndsay Connors and Jim McMorrow - both honorary adjunct associate professors in the Education and Social Work faculty at the University of Sydney - propose that the combined $25 billion that State and Commonwealth governments invest separately each year in teachers should be pooled, increased and reallocated to make a good education accessible to all.

Currently, public funds are being used to entrench unfair competition among schools, and to fuel an unfair competition for teachers to the advantage of the more affluent schools. To ensure consistent educational resources across Australia, Connors and McMorrow argue that there is now a need for a Funding Model to increase the number and quality of publicly-funded teachers and to allocate them in a fairer and more rational way among schools.

"Having the number of effective teachers you need to do well at school should not depend on going to schools with very high fees, or that admit only students with demonstrated academic ability, or that serve affluent suburbs," Connors and McMorrow said.

As part of their 'Education Revolution', the Federal Government has suggested a `Rewarding Teaching Quality'. In contrast, Connors and McMorrow argue that, rather than favouring a few special teachers, public funds should instead be allocated more evenly between schools with similar workloads and enrolments, regardless of sector, to help make every teacher more effective.

The report's more holistic approach to Australia's education system would ensure a sustainable, consistently high quality of teaching across the country to counter the inequalities highlighted by the MySchool web site.

Media queries:
Stephanie Whitelock
tel (02) 9351 2261
0401 711 361
[email protected]

SOURCE: University of Sydney

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