Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

CIS urges better targeting for $23.5b Gonski 2.0 money

Australian schools should use the extra Gonski 2.0 funding to improve early literacy and numeracy, give teachers fewer classes and more time outside the classroom, and provide classroom management training for teachers, new research from the Centre for Independent Studies finds.

In Getting the most out of Gonski 2.0: The evidence base for school investments, education policy analyst Blaise Joseph has outlined the importance of school investments being evidence-based and cost-effective. He proposes three investments with the potential to significantly improve lagging student literacy and numeracy results

  • Early literacy and numeracy
  • Give teachers fewer classes and more time outside the classroom
  • Classroom management training for teachers

Intervention to help students who are underachieving in literacy and numeracy is more effective in early primary years than in later schooling, the report proposes. In particular, primary schools should invest in training for teachers to improve teaching of reading and phonics instruction.

Teachers should have fewer classes and more time outside the classroom. Australian teachers spend more time each day teaching in class, relative to the OECD and the top-performing countries.

Classroom management training for teachers is the third essential. Australia has high levels of classroom misbehaviour compared to the OECD and top-performing countries and this has negative effects on achievement. 

“These three approaches wouldn’t necessarily cost much more money, if for example school professional development budgets were prioritised towards more important training like phonics instruction and classroom management, and if class sizes were increased to offset the cost of fewer classes per teacher,” Joseph said.

“One important caveat is that only NSW and the ACT have accreditation standards for teacher professional development providers, which means much of the compulsory training teachers attend isn’t necessarily evidence-based. States and territories should have more rigorous and transparent standards for professional development providers.”

The report also critiqued two common school investments, arguing they are not adequately evidence-based or cost-effective: 

  • Smaller class sizes. Reducing class sizes would be expensive, have the potential to reduce teacher quality, and have only minor positive effects on student achievement; relative to the OECD average and high-achieving countries, Australian class sizes are not especially large.
  • Technology. The extent of any positive effects for education technology is uncertain. Australia already invests in and uses significantly more school technology relative to the rest of the world, but this by itself has not helped to improve literacy and numeracy.

19 Feb 2019 | India
Breakfast and lunch for better learning News Image

Breakfasts at school have had a great effect on learning outcomes and it looks like the same goes for lunch according to an investigation of 120 million Indian students. Read More

18 Feb 2019 | Melbourne
Ivanhoe university campus at Latrobe commences News Image

Ivanhoe Grammar School has opened its  University Campus for Year 9 at La Trobe University. It offers a year-long program designed to expose students to the self sufficiency of university life. Read More

18 Feb 2019 | National
Scrapping HECS debt for remote teachers welcomed News Image

Experts have endorsed the announcement that the government will cancel the uni debts of teachers who commit to working for four years in remote indigenous communities and say more must be done to attract locals to teaching. Read More

18 Feb 2019 | National
New $15k Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy open News Image

The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund has launched the new $15,000 Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy, part of almost $2m it awards every year. Read More

14 Feb 2019 | National
Yamaha’s 60K Great Start Grant – applications open News Image

Yamaha Music Australia’s Great Start Grant is a nationwide initiative with a very generous $60,000 worth of musical instruments given to the winning school and more. Read More