Chris Bonnor | Radical change needed to make school system fair for all

Fellow of the Center for Policy Development, Chris Bonnor offers an insight into the revelations of the recent Gonski report into school funding in his opinion piece in The Age.

The evidence unequivocally displays the growing academic disparity between the private and public school sectors; trends developing in tandem with socio-economic divides in Australian society.  Bonnor advocates the necessity for restructuring the present funding model but concedes that the aversion shown by major parties on this issue makes this a significant challenge.

The problems we must deal with were created decades ago when we somehow ended up with a public system open to all – and a subsidised private system open to some, if they could pay. It’s hard to think of a better way to create a social and academic apartheid framework of schools.

The schools that are partly resourced by fees inevitably harvest an advantaged enrollment; the schools that are free and open to all become socially and academically residualised. What we’ve always guessed but now know is that this system, almost regardless of teacher quality, makes it much harder to lift the achievement of kids at the bottom of the school league.

Read Chris Bonnor’s article in The Age here.

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