Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Resources don’t mean success for ACT students

News Image

You would think that Canberra’s population of politicians and government workers would translate into a high achieving school system but it hasn’t; a strong indication that resourcing doesn't translate into results as ACT schools are among the best funded in the country.

Data analysis by the Australian National University (ANU) shows ACT school students are several months, sometimes years, behind their peers in writing and numeracy.

Research showed more than 75% of ACT government schools had more than 66% of their results below the equivalent results of statistically similar schools. The results were similar for ACT non-government schools, with 70% having 66% or more of their average results below those of their equivalent schools around the country.

Researchers from the ANU School of Law studied NAPLAN results from 2012–2016 for ACT schools and compared it to the same data for equivalent schools in the same socio-economic profile.

Lead author Prof Andrew Macintosh said the results were alarming.

“The analysis showed ACT schools – both government and non-government – are being outperformed by comparable schools in other jurisdictions in writing and numeracy across all age brackets,” Macintosh said.

“This research demonstrates, once again, that learning outcomes are not solely linked to resourcing. The ACT has some of the best resourced schools in the country but their students are still underperforming.”

Macintosh and research partner Debra Wilkinson said the ACT Government should lead the way in trialling alternative teaching methods to improve student outcomes, and in demonstrating how NAPLAN data can be used more effectively to inform decision-making by policymakers and schools.

“At the 2016 election, the ACT Labor Government promised to undertake a trial of teacher-led approaches in ACT schools. It is time for that trial to get underway, and for the ACT Government to take this opportunity to engage with the government and non-government school sectors to demonstrate how NAPLAN can be used more effectively to improve outcomes.”

The research paper, Academic underperformance in ACT schools: An analysis of ACT school performance in NAPLAN over the period 2012–2016, is available on the ANU website.


20 Sep 2018
Recommendations to streamline teaching careers launched News Image

Recommendations provide clear steps to maintain or improve the high standards of the teaching profession, strengthen child safety, and streamline teacher registration across Australia. Read More

20 Sep 2018 | National
Who wins in new funding model? News Image

It’s now settled, parents’ incomes will be the basis of funding provided to schools, the approach is fairer but some sectors will be better off than others.
Read More

20 Sep 2018 | National
Funding changes postponed News Image

Minister Dan Tehan’s extension of 2018 funding arrangements to 2019 provides immediate certainty for schools planning for the new year, while allowing time for further work to be undertaken on the issue. Read More

19 Sep 2018 | National
Uni courses for the most profitable career News Image

The more things change the more they don’t, especially when it comes to graduate earning potential says the Grattan Institute’s Mapping Australian Higher Education report. Read More

19 Sep 2018 | National
Mentoring helps low SES students win at life News Image

The ABCN Foundation has been working with students from low-SES schools since 2005 and is the only organisation of its kind to offer the combination of mentoring and financial support. Read More