Australian school funding inequality further exacerbates the difference between rich and poor schools

I came across this well-researched article Rich school, poor school: Australia’s great education divide done by ABC a few days ago. The basic conclusion is that private schools outspend the government schools by a very large margin.

Anyone visited many of the top tier private schools in Australia will have some first-hand evidence of this, massive Olympic size pools, auditorium, pristine sports ground etc. On the other hand when visiting government schools often the only new build from within the last few decades happened during the 2008 global financial crisis. No matter what people say about Kevin Rudd, his spending during the period on the schools are sorely needed and very much welcomed.

I did a series of blogs on the Australian school fundings and did a detailed analysis of both government and private schools operation and capital expenditure in 2016. You can find the articles as following

Part 1 explains the funding model of Australian schools and where it is derived.

Part 2 goes over the spending of both government and private school’s spending on the operational side of things in 2016.

Part 3 goes over the capital expenditure of both government and private schools in 2016.

To summerise, per-student spending on the operational side between government and private schools are roughly the same. However, on a per-student basis, catholic schools outspend the government schools to the tune of 250% when it comes to capital expenditure in 2016. Independent schools outspend government schools by 464% when calculating on a per-student basis. This is a consistent trend year to year, so if you look at this over a longer period of time, private schools completely smash government schools on capital expenditure.

Also quoting the above-mentioned article 15% of the catholic schools and 8% of the independent schools capital expenditure comes from both state and federal governments. This pretty much agrees with my analysis of the data for 2016. In 10.6% of Catholic and 10.1% of independent schools, their capital expenditure comes from either state or federal governments.


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