September 2015 – Australian Public School Information

Monthly Archives: September 2015

Belrose, French Forest, Kambora, Mimosa and Wakehurst Public School Catchment Maps Added

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It is time to get back to Northern Beaches, five more catchment map for public schools added. I will most likely aim to finish the entire Northern Beaches before moving on to another area in Sydney.

  • Belrose Public School
  • French Forest Public School
  • Kambora Public School
  • Mimosa Public School
  • Wakehurst Public School

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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Mini Update to Rosehill and Parramatta East Public School Catchment Map

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It has come to my attention that the part of Parramatta north of the Parramatta river between the Macarthur Street and James Ruse Drive does not belong to Rosehill Public School and instead is part of Parramatta East Public School catchment.

No idea how I missed this one, I actually had a relative who lived in this area and her son use to go to the Parramatta East Public School, so I should have know this already. So shout out to “shuyuanli” for pointing out my error and much appreciated the help.

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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How to rank public schools (Part 2)

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First it is no surprise that schools with higher Socio-Educational advantage do significantly better than average. However even with schools that got similar ICSEA (Social-Educational Advantage Score), some schools do better than others.

First Wahroonga Public School, the 2014 NAPLAN result as following taken from Myschool website.

Wahroonga Public School Public School NAPLAN 2014

As you can see it does significantly better than the Australia average and about on par with similar schools.

Then you look at Epping West Public School, its 2014 NAPLAN result as following taken from Myschool website.

Epping West Public School NAPLAN 2014

As you can see Epping West Public School has significant higher score for all categories across the board even when compare to similar schools. Also I purposely picked these two school because none of them play host to OC classes which pollutes the result for year 5 and makes it impossible to do a straight comparison. This will artificially make some public schools rank higher than the others because they have a concentration of more talented students in the OC classes. List of public schools that will hosts the OC classes in 2016 can be find here.

Using the raw scores between school it is possible to compare schools directly with academically. It is difficult and very hard to measure other aspect of different schools. However ranking them will be hard as there are different categories through different years, how do you weight and compare the these?

When selecting schools, if test score if the main thing you value, then what Myschool website will provide everything you need as long as you understand how to interpret the data available. I will not go into too much detail on the topic of choosing a school for your child as they have been already covered in detail with the following articles

And finally if you ask me what is the different between these two school that with similar ICSEA score have such a difference, I think Epping West Public School just got more tiger mothers.

How to rank public schools. (Part 1)

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One of the eternal question that get asked all the time is how does the school rank and how do they compare with each other. The primary source of the school information come from the relative newly minted myschool.gov.au that came out during the Julia Gillard’s labor government period. This site is absolutely monumental for someone like me, for the first time in ever I had access to just a wealth of information.

However now the question is how to interpret all these data and make sense out of them. We first need to understand ICSEA commonly being mentioned, official definition as following, in simple term higher the number more Socio-Educational Advantage a school has from the prospective of the Department of Education.

In using the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) calculation to describe school populations on the website, the median value of all schools’ ICSEA values is set at 1000. This represents the ‘middle ground’ of educational advantage levels among Australian school students. The median is used because the ICSEA values of all schools are unevenly spread, reflecting the great diversity of student populations across Australia.

Most of stats on the site will compare with schools with similar ICSEA and another with all schools. One brief look at a single school such as Summer Hills Public School will show that it is only compared with 57 other school and ten of which is actually public school from NSW. Another thing with Summer Hills Public School is that it hosts OC classes for the local area as well, so the number for the year 5 are artificially inflated by this factor as well. What this means is that the raw result of year 5 of a school that host the OC classes can give a false impression of what general performance level.

There are five factor that NAPLAN measures

  • Reading
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Spelling
  • Grammar and Punctuation
  • Numeracy

It appears what myschool.edu.au gives a straight up measurement of number on above five which is possible to measure the schools against each other. However given the number of the schools in Sydney alone, let alone NSW and entire Australia, this is a mammoth task indeed.

There is no really a good way of mashing up the measurement from different year and also account for things like OC classes etc to extract a true general level of performance for a school. I will try to do a sample comparison on two schools to illustrate the difficulties in comparing the results.

Bankstown West, Condell Park, Milperra, Wattawa Heights and Yagoona Public School Catchment Maps Added

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Tough set of update, took fair bit of research and healthy dose of guesstimate as well to come up with these maps. I am probably going to move back to Northern Beach suburbs soon to try finish that corner of the map first.

  • Bankstown West Public School
  • Condell Park Public School
  • Milperra Public School
  • Wattawa Heights Public School
  • Yagoona Public School

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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Chullora, Banksia Road, Bankstown, Bankstown North and Greenacre Public School Catchment Map Added

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Back to the main business of adding more public school catchment maps, I have to say this is actually soothing in a way and makes for some enjoyable activities after work. It is getting harder to plot the school catchment maps further west I move, this set of update contain fair bit of my guesstimate as well.

  • Chullora Public School
  • Banksia Road Public School
  • Bankstown Public School
  • Bankstown North Public School
  • Greenacre Public School

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney Public School Catchment Map by following this link.

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Some Sydney Schools Becoming Ghettos

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I read this article Sydney Schools Becoming Anglo Ghettos on SMH a few weeks back. This is a very interesting article and deserve some in depth discussion. I think the more correct term would be the some schools are becoming ghettos, not just Anglo. First the word ghettos may often used in denigrating fashion, most commonly refer to area that is mostly reside by population that are under privilege or minority groups. However modern day usage can mean concentrate of certain groups of people in a particular area. Since people with Anglo background is the majority group in Sydney, so use of the term “Anglo Ghettos” is more for the shock value and attracting attentions. To be honest the title of the article did its intended job very well, it generated plenty of controversy and interest.

It is no argument that public school has higher percentage of students with none English speaking background than their private counter part. Most of examples are from lower north shore area. In general the pattern is that public schools have higher percentage of students from none English speaking background compare to their private school counterpart where the government selective schools contain even higher percentage of students from none English speaking background.

The important part the particular article does not go into is why this is the case in Sydney, only point mentioned is that parents with Anglo background maybe actively shunning the public schools.  So exactly what has driven and formed these “Ghettos” in public and private schools? In my personal opinion there are multiple of reasons that contributed to this particular phenomenon.

Anglo Families are Shunning the Public Schools

This is definitely is the case by looking at the statistics and from personal experience. I know from first hand information, some Anglo families are giving up the government selective school position because they think the school in question had too many Asians. This is probably one of the biggest reason other than Asian families tend to favour government selective schools with higher academic performance.

Families with none English Speaking Background Shunning the Private Schools with Religious Background Particularly Catholic

This is my theory, Asians I know tend to be agnostic or lower level of religious association so some of them may have avoided the private schools with religious affiliations. I do know Asian families avoided catholic schools for this particular reason. I may make a research project out of this in the future to collect more stats and do a better analysis on this sub topic.

Difference in Social Economic Background

Again this is my theory only, despite the news report that Asians are buying up everything in Australia. Majority of immigrants families here just did not have the same amount of time accumulate wealth over multiple generations. It is not really affordable for middle income families to send more than one children to one of the top private schools on full fee. Even one child at top private school with full fee will stretch a middle class family’s budget badly.

Most selective schools students tend to be solidly middle ground however it is rare to have students with “super rich” parents. And this I think in a large degree explains why public school in general have higher level of students from none English speaking background.

Tradition

For families that resided in Sydney for a long time, you often had grand parents, parents, sisters and brothers all went the same set of private schools. It is natural for the particular families to wish their children to go to the same schools. Families with none English speaking background tend to be new comers and just have less affiliation with a particular school. This phenomenon is very common in private schools from the people I talk to, but much less than with public schools.

Asians Favours Academic Performance

It is probably not a secret that many first generation Asian families favours academic performance over most other factors when picking schools. Government selective schools are focus of this which is why you have a much higher concentration of students with Asian background. For Asians families that are second generation I do not found too much of a difference in their motive compare to Anglo families in whether sending their children to private or public schools.

A lot of top private schools offer scholarship for students based on academic performance, it would be really interesting to see the composition of those students and how many of them are from none English speaking background.

 

Overall there are a wealth of information from myschool.edu.au and a lot of can be learned from data gathered. I wanted to do a follow up article on this topic to go over some of the stats around it.

East Hills,Panania, Panania North, Picnic Point and Tower Street Public School Catchment Maps Added

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Had a minor accident and wasn’t able to do the update yesterday. Luckily came out that without too much issues. Still chipping away the middle part of Sydney, here is another five more school mapped. The dividing line between Easter Hills and Panania Public school catchment is super shaky, I had to make an educated guess. I highly recommend you do your confirmation to make sure the catchment inclusion.

  • East Hills Public School
  • Panania Public School
  • Panania North Public School
  • Picnic Point Public School
  • Tower Street Public School

As usual contact the school in question or department of education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full catchment map by following this link.

Padstow Heights, Padstow Park, Padstow South, Reversby and Reversby South Public School Catchment Map Added

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Going randomly off the map a little bit now and swinging back to the Southern Sydney again. Five more public school catchment added again, there is still that gaping hole in the middle of the Sydney, but I am chipping away at it. Hopefully will make a significant difference soon and fill out most of it in the near future.

  • Padstow Heights Public School
  • Padstow Park Public School
  • Padstow South Public School
  • Reversby Public School
  • Reversby South Public School

As usual contact the school in question or department of education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full catchment map by following this link.