Australian Public School Information – Page 6 – All you need to know about Australian Public School, including catchment/zone/boundary information.

More Discussion On Australian School Funding

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With the Federal budget for 2017 that had been released tonight, it is interesting to go in a bit more detail with the school funding issue. This article I have read a couple of a couple of weeks ago and is a good illustration of how warped the current system became since the Howard years. During the Howard years the free flowing mining money covered this issue, with the first Gonski implementation, Gillard simply lacked number and political capital to properly implement it. I do also think Gillard’s Labor government also lacked political courage in hoping not to alienate potential voters. The proposed Coalition changes to the funding go someway to fix this issue. However given the preliminary information we have gotten, the changes likely not going far enough to properly address this issue.

Following are some extract from the AGE article ‘The inequity is worsening’: a tale of two schools and a school funding debate.

Here are two schools, from two sectors, that are two kilometres apart.

They serve the same diverse community in Cranbourne and enrol students from similar backgrounds. But according to the latest data, the state school Cranbourne Secondary College received $10,954 in state and federal funding per student while the Catholic school St Peter’s College Cranbourne received $12,765.

In the “Education State”, a student at an independent school with the average socioeconomic make-up received an average of $11,938 in government funding. This compared to $11,064 for a student at a similar Catholic school, and just $9547 for a student at a comparable state school.

One argument laid out by Independent school is that government’s capital income is not included in this number and add on top. Now ‘et’s work the number, there are 932,107 students enrolled in Victorian Primary and Secondary Schools. In the last three Victoria State budget as far as I can make out from the state government’s budget website, it had and planning to spend 2.5 Billion dollars on new and upgrading schools. Given the previous number, this comes down to about $895 per student per year.

St Peter’s College Cranbourne charge about $4,700 per year in 2017 from the information I gather on its website. So if my assumption is correct with the example mentioned in the above, Cranbourne Secondary College get a tad less than $12,000 per year and St Peter’s College Cranbourne get about $17,500 per year.

The funding question is a very complex and need detailed study and investigation on how best we spend and distribute the money to make the best use of our limited resource.

Note: I make a lot of assumptions and there likely be inaccuracy in how the numbers stack up.

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NAPLAN Starts Tommorrow in Australia

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NAPLAN test dates for 2017 are Tuesday 9 May, Wednesday 10 May and Thursday 11 May in Australia. Taken the information from National Assessment Program’s website, the following is the timetable.

Tuesday 9 May 2017 Wednesday 10 May 2017 Thursday 11 May 2017
Year 3 Language conventions
40 minutes

Writing
40 minutes

Reading
45 minutes
Numeracy
45 minutes
Year 5 Language conventions
40 minutes

Writing
40 minutes

Reading
50 minutes
Numeracy
50 minutes
Year 7 Language conventions
45 minutes

Writing
40 minutes

Reading
65 minutes
Numeracy
60 minutes
Year 9 Language conventions
45 minutes

Writing
40 minutes

Reading
65 minutes
Numeracy
60 minutes

There is also an article on SMH NAPLAN – What you need to know which is a good article answering a lot of common questions for NAPLAN and new changes as well in 2016.

My daughter is going to take part in the NAPLAN starting from tomorrow, my wife has already run her through some sample tests to get her use to the format. So it should be interesting to see how she does.

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Continuation Of Public School Sold Off

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As with the last blog entry, I was reading up into more details of Sydney Public School sell off wave from the late 90s to late 2000s. What I wasn’t fully aware of is that not just selling the entire schools is a common practice, apparently selling part of the school is also done frequently as well. An example article is Squeeze put on Sydney’s overcrowded public schools on news.com.au.

Since 1987, 11 schools have been closed or amalgamated on the north shore – including Milsons Point Public School and North Sydney Public School.

SCHOOL LAND SALES 2000-2012

. Seaforth PS sold land for $2.5m, enrolments have increased since 2006 from 341 to 478

. North Sydney BHS sold land for $1.3m, enrolments stable

. Erskineville PS, threatened sale headed off after public outcry, enrolments up from 174 to 334

. Rozelle PS sold land for $1m, enrolments up from 304 to 537

. Bonnyrigg HS sold land for $1.1m, enrolments up from 776 to 1038

. Northmead HS sold land for $787,000, enrolments upfrom 715 to 896

. Gerringong PS sold land for $5.3m, enrolments up from 358 to 395

. Camden HS sold land for $7.5m, enrolments up from 1051 to 1176

. Hornsby Heights PS sold land for $650,000, enrolments up from 309 to 344

. Rydalmere East PS sold land for $1.8m, enrolments up from 176 to 191

. Willoughby PS sold land for an undisclosed sum (pre-2000), enrolments up from 733 to 939

I wasn’t aware of Willoughby Public School sold off part of school off. I looked at the overhead view of the school and cannot see which nearby part is the obvious subject of this selloff. Willoughby Public School happens to be one of the most crowded schools in North Shore area with the school that is under the proposal for a major upgrade. The funny part is that the money that results in these selloffs will not even able to purchase a decent size block in the same area nowadays.

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How Short Sighted State Governments Has Excebated the NSW School Overcrowding Issue

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I was doing research on various of Sydney Public Schools and the topic various Public Schools being sold off ten or fifteen years ago. I did not have children back then and wasn’t paying attention to this. I was aware of various of local schools being sold off, but it does not seem as important back then. Now with the surging enrolment, the true impact of those sold off are being better understood. One of the articles I read is Sydney schools face queues as sell-off scheme backfires on SMH in 2014, the problem is getting worse since then.

High birth rate and immigration rate just completely upturned Sydney’s School population trend in a matter of years. Now all the schools that got sold off in inner Sydney city are really starting to hurt, imagine hundreds of classes room that can be put into use almost directly with only minimum spending. With all the ready available sites, they can be expanded more easily as well. The crazy thing is that the schools that got sold off probably could fetch double or triple the amount they got earlier if they are sold today. Not to mention state government is busy trying to find sites in the inner city that are suitable and converting them back into schools. This includes a new high-rise high school is going to be built on the old Cleveland Street High School site at a cost of likely in the hundreds of million.

I think the key lesson is with key public infrastructure, we need to be really careful not to get rid of them for quick short term gain. We need to look at state’s future in twenty, thirty years, not just today’s two to four years election cycle period. Particularly in inner city, key

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Classroom Size in Australian Schools

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There is an article on SMH NSW auditor-general flags larger class sizes. The basic premise is that to deal with rapid increasing in population the easiest way is to increase the classroom size.While it is true that doing would be the most cost efficient way of solving the problem of increasing enrolment. However all the studies I read there is evidence that smaller size class, particularly in the beginning years will improve student’s academic performance. We need think very carefully about this approach of cost saving at expense of education outcome. Australia requires better and appropriately education for their children which is particularly important which advancement of technology and the associated change in society.

We need to invest more into Education and most importantly make the best use of the money we are already spending on it.

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Violence In School

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There was a student got stabbed in the eye at the newly created Cammeraygal High School in Sydney. This particularly high school situated in North Shore area and is of high social-economic background, so in theory, should have less of this type of issues. In my Sydney school days just from memory, there was one boy got expelled for organising revenge ambush after school on another student. Another student got stabbed outside of school in Year 12 I think by another classmate of mine. So while there were a number of violent episodes involving people in my year, none were actually played out directly inside the school itself. The school I went to is of middle of road type, just to give some reference on what to expect.

Some school I know got a real bad reputation and deservedly so in my days. My cousin married this guy who used to be a teacher, he quit the profession after a student tried to run him down with his motorcycle. I know in another case where the teach got thrown out of the window by the students. I have been out of High School for a long time and not kept up what is happening these days. I wonder whether thing got better or worse than what it use to be.

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New School Funding Model at Federal Government Level In Australia

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Education Minister Simon Birmingham alone with no other than our PM Malcomb Turnbull just announced new school funding model. Media already dubbed it Gonski 2.0, David Gonski has been commissioned to do another report on education funding. This part is a bit confusing to me, he already did one previously but under the previous Labor Government. I am not sure which part in the Gonski plan 1.0 that was deficient enough to warrant another study in less than six years after the original study was released. The core of the new proposal

It is a “ten-year reform agenda” that will see funding increase from $17.5 billion to $22.1 billion 2021 and $30.6 billion by 2027.

He says 24 schools on the eastern seaboard will “experience negative growth” (ie have their funding cut).

In addition to the 24 schools whose funding will be cut, there will also be some whose rate of funding is slowed over the ten year period the government is talking about.

SMH Malcolm Turnbull announces new post-Gonski national schools funding package

The original study in my view was a solid one and if anything Gillard Government chickened out some of the more critical parts of properly distributing the funds and opt for the option of just throw more money at it. The current announcement goes a way to address this issue and likely in my view not going far enough. I do reserve my judgement until I have a chance to see whether this is a proper effort to reform the education funding or just window dressing.

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Homework or not in Australia?

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There are a number of articles going around regarding homework in Australian school particularly at primary level. There are for and against proponent for each argument. At least in my kid’s public school I have not yet to see what I personally consider as a unmanagable level of homework. What I do not support is an excessive amount of homework particularly at the primary level of schooling. This also happens at Secondary level, however, my personal experience is that by senior years I had reasonable enough experience that I could decide to a degree on what to do and how much to do, so this was not as much a burden.

Homework in correct way and amount is very helpful. It helps the children to consolidate the learning and also let us parents know what they are good or bad at. Thus it will let us know in which area the children in question need to pay more attention. Let’s face it, education is not just what school do, it is the job of both the parent and school to achieve the best outcome for your children.

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Private Schools Better Than Public Schools?

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I keep a list of interesting education-related articles that I have read before but had no time to fully digest at the time so I could go back and reread them later. “Public schools judged ‘superior’ to private schools, the new survey shows” from SMH from about three months ago was one such article. What it shows is that

Australians backed public schools over private schools by a slim margin: just 8.5 percentage points. Overall, 45.6 per cent of respondents either strongly disagreed (14.6%) or disagreed (31%) with the statement: “Private schools offer a superior education to public schools.

Meanwhile, 37.1 per cent either strongly agreed (7.2%) or agreed (29.9%).

This split remained fairly consistent across age, gender and location – with one glaring exception.

Australians earning $104,000 or more were the only group to back private schools over public schools. And they did so with a convincing margin of 16 percentage points.

Among high earners, agreement with the statement jumped to 50.4 per cent, while disagreement plunged to 33.9 per cent.

I am an advocate of Public Education, so my opinion is probably fairly biased to start with. That being said what type of school the parents going to send their children to is a personal one and is to be made with each family and children. There is no right or wrong answer this question.

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Is Boys Better At Math and Girls Better At Reading?

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I just read an very interesting article on SMH Reading superiority in girls starts early, Naplan study finds. Let me first quote a few lines from the article.

The study also found that better performance in literacy was limited to girls from low and middle socioeconomic backgrounds, and only boys from high socioeconomic families did better in numeracy.

“Once you have a grasp of language and literacy you can use that in everything, so the gap could have a detrimental effect across all areas of learning [for boys].”

In maths, teachers giving more positive feedback to boys could lead to the numeracy gap that emerges in year 3, Professor Walker said.

“The way boys and girls are perceived and the feedback they get becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she said.

The most interesting part to me was the fact the math advantage was only limited to boys from the higher socioeconomic background. So if as the article suggested that feedback children received becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy should have meant that regardless of their socioeconomic background would have similar gap manifest. With same logic it is unlike gender-based teaching would cause this as well. So what had caused this difference? I think this certainly deserve a more in detailed look into why it is so the case.