In a class of their own | SERIES | 2018/19




In a Class of Their Own is a series of discussion papers to extend CPD’s research on a more equitable school system, exploring different facets of how Australia’s contemporary school system segregates and divides students, families and communities, and concentrates disadvantage.

While the papers include a brief discussion of policy implications, the series is not designed to offer specific policy recommendations, but to explore different factors that increase segregation.

The first paper, A Creeping Indigenous Separation (Feb 2018) by Chris Bonnor, Christina Ho and Garry Richards, focused on disadvantage related to Indigenous students.

The second paper, Institutionalised Separation (Jul 2018) by Christina Ho with Chris Bonnor, looked at inequity within selective schools and their impact on other schools.

The third paper, Separating Scholars: How Australia abandons its struggling schools (Jan 2019) by Christina Ho with Chris Bonnor analysed how schools are changing over time, especially in terms of enrollment characteristics and the school achievement measures and results most familiar to parents and teachers.

The fourth paper, Ethnic Divides in Schooling (May 2019) by Christina Ho revealed that Australian schools do not reflect the ethnic diversity of their communities and that there is a divide in educational outcomes among ethnically diverse students.

The overall finding for the In a Class of Their Own series is that inequality is increasing in Australia’s schools and is setting up a system of winners and losers – disadvantage is becoming concentrated while advantage is being segregated out through choice.

In the media

The gap between high and low socioeconomic high schools is widening as struggling schools are left to support the most disadvantaged students, a new report has found. Research from the Centre for Policy and Development, released on Wednesday, reveals that
The education gulf is widening with the numbers of high achieving HSC students increasingly concentrated in advantaged schools at the expense of disadvantaged schools, new research shows. Aspirational parents are driving the shift as they "trade up" schools for educational institutions
For some the news that arrived in the post earlier this month would have been good, perhaps even life changing. Many more would have disappointed. Each July across NSW the state’s selective high schools notify students who were successful in their
Whenever the selective school debate flares, students at those schools feel picked on. Their only crime is to have worked hard, so to them the discussion feels like an accusation – that they are undeserving, or swindled their way in
Though long regarded as the great equalisers of education, a new study has revealed selective schools are now eclipsing elite, high-fee private schools when it comes to advantage. Over half of the state’s twenty most socio-educationally advantaged schools are now selective,
In the debate about selective schools personal stories and beliefs can drown out evidence, especially when that evidence challenges the status quo. So we hear plenty of anecdotes about the successes of selective school students, but relatively few about the
Selective schools have overtaken private schools as the state's most advantaged, with schools such as Normanhurst Boys and Hornsby Girls now eclipsing elite colleges such as St Ignatius, Barker and Ascham.
The first thing I did when I became a secondary school principal many years ago was to put the school’s prefects in blazers and ties. The school was losing enrolments and needed to improve its profile; prefects were put in
We are now into the tenth anniversary of the strategy to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia. Last week saw a report on progress, a subdued celebration on scattered achievements and copious hand-wringing over endemic failures.