Edu-fact check
Every now and then we come across a claim about schools that doesn't add up. My School data helps us call it for what it is. See our latest and our categories below.

Latest: Draconian cuts to Catholic schools?
Catholic schools have always had much better deals than Independent schools - but the gap is closing. It is sad to watch Catholic school authorities try to manipulate the current debate. After reading Lyndsay Connors' account the Catholic case just looks like.... 

Edu-fact: confirmed by evidence
Edu-fiction: not supported by facts
Edu-fable: not quite the whole story 
Edu-falsehood: basically a lie
Edu-fabrication: a constructed lie       
Edu-fallacy:well-intentioned but wrong
Edu-feasible: could be something in it
Edu-foible: a rather silly statement
Edu-fantasy: a figment of imagination
Edu-fiddle: a half-truth 
Edu-faith: belief rather than evidence
Edu-furphy: a bit of a rumour
Edu-fluff: statement that adds little
Edu-fallshort: doesn't go far enough
Edu-fib: let's call it what it is!
Edu-futility: You must be kidding!

Please email Chris if you want to challenge any findings. One resource we use is School Daze, which also includes many of the graphs we'll show on this site. 

School Daze sections:
A school is a school - or is it?
Mind the gap - it's getting wider
Mind the gap - it's getting deeper
Australia's school equity problem
Our equity problem - over time & place
Student achievement is drifting
Myth busting - school results
Those distinguished HSC achievers
The money-ro-round
More myths - private schools save $
And more - money doesn't lift results
The illusion of school choice
Where did the school community go?
JULY 2017

Edu-comment:  If we are after equity and overall improvement in student achievement then selective schools are a blight on the education landscape. In a previous life my school was ambushed by the establishment of a selective school nearby. They are a classic illustration of possible advantage for some coming at the expense of everyone else. They are no solution - just another part of the problem.  
  • Quite a detailed explanation of Gonski 2.0 is on ABC Fact Check.
  • Terms of reference for the Gonski 2.0 review available here. Information about the reviewers available here.  Fin Review points to Ken Boston as the key to its work. Ross Gittins shows the economic importance of getting it right. But in a timely warning Trevor Cobbold highlights recent research showing the real problems faced by disadvantaged students. If we don't fix this then not much else will work!! Trevor also reports on recent research indicating the critical importance of school-community links. 
  • Every couple of years the CIS flies the wealthy-public-school-parents-should-pay-fees kite. They are at it again. David Gillespie has a sharp response in The Courier Mail. Actually they do pay fees - they are called taxes.
  • The Gonski 2.0 panel has been formed.....mainly school-based people plus Ken Boston and Lisa O'Brien. Ross Gittins ponders the task facing Gonski's second review. (Fairfax July 12). 
Edu-comment:  Educators will welcome school-based people on the new Gonski panel. Simon Birmingham wants them and us to think outside the square. BUT will that happen if schools are still straitjacketed by external pressures, drivers and measures, especially in assessment? What place will there be for initiatives like this? And is efficiency and effectiveness (in the terms of reference) just a school/classroom issue, when the way we establish and resource schools reeks of these problems? 
JUNE 2017

Vale Bernie Shepherd AM
Many people will know that Bernie has lost his battle against cancer, just two days after our latest report appeared - and in a week in which his work helped shape momentous decisions. His commitment and contribution just seemed to never stop in his final weeks, and he helped make sure it will continue. Read more about Bernie here and here. A longer obit is in the SMH July 20 A memorial gathering to celebrate Bernie Shepherd's life will be held at St Marys Senior High School, Kalang Avenue, St Marys NSW, on Friday 21 July commencing 2.30pm. CB.

This site is about education issues that matter. This is one of them: 'Private companies accessing student data fuels commercialisation fears' Fairfax July 4. Followed by a valuable comment from the academics working on this matter. 

'Shopping for 'good' public schools in NSW reinforcing equity gap' Fairfax, July 3. All sounds very familiar, given that Bernie and I raised this three years ago. Some extra coverage of this on radio and TV.  

Losing the Game is the latest report from Bernie Shepherd and myself on the state of our schools as revealed by the data behind the My School website. Launched in this busy 'Gonski' week, it has been reported in the Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, various radio and TV, blogs etc...with more to come. We have a synopsis of sorts in Pearls and Irritations. I still have mixed feelings about the current legislation but we won't find any way to the future unless we cancel out the flawed decisions of the past (amply illustrated in Losing the Game) and correct the disasters they have created

More in the Gonski wash-up. Trevor Cobbold shows how Gonski 2.0 entrenches structural incoherence and inequity in school funding. Grattan's Peter Goss and Julie Sonnemann (The Conversation) spell out why they see it as a policy victory. Matthew Knott (Fairax) explains the eventual compromise - and how it all came about.....and what ot means for state government funding.  Gabrielle Chan in The Guardian calls it a policy and political win for the Coalition. Jane Caro in The Saturday Paper questions the funding carve up....and Paul Karp (Guardian) can't see the states delivering their share. Tony Walker (Fairfax) says that the top private schools will be big winners. Nice podcast on Fairfax, including Ross Gittins, Peter Martin and Jess Irvine. And always related, the Bankwest/Curtin people report on their research into education inequality in Australia, The Conversation 

More in this big late June week. We watch school funding history repeated as Fairfax reports 'Turnbull buckles to Catholic schools'. Jane Caro in The Guardian cuts to the chase in an analysis of the Gonski journey. On a different topic, Emma Rowe unpacks school enrolment data in The Convo (June 19)

What an amazing 'Gonski' path was been woven in the last few weeks - and it isn't over. The game seems to change every day. There has been ample media on current events. The explanation of Catholic school funding in The Convo by Jessica Gerrard is a good read, as is Julie Doyle's explanation in ABC News. The intervention by Gonski panelists Ken Boston and Kathryn Greiner were well reported. 

We've been working on recommendations to go with our report and are being upstaged almost daily. Fairfax revealed Birmingham's offer to speed up the funding and also establish a National Schools Resourcing body. Great news if it comes off. Watch this (and any) space!

MAY 2017

Being out of the country makes it even more important to keep in touch with the moving 'Gonski' scene....so what follows is my take on the most significant items covering (in no particular order) the last two weeks of May:
Previously in May:
Edu-comment:  A response is surely needed to the various claims coming from some Catholic school authorities and advocates, especially the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. Please read our response: 'Catholic school funding - the game has changed, get used to it ...and let's re-run Goulburn 1962'. 
APRIL 2017
Edu-comment:  Are schools "overcrowded" - or is there just a very expensive lopsided distribution of students? If 42% of schools are full then 58% have space. Most of these are lower ICSEA schools. Families with the resources have scrambled to get into higher ICSEA school in any sector. Solution: make all schools the school of choice for all families. It would cost less in the long run. 
Edu-comment:  The fun bits about school funding are the claims by the Victorian non-gov lobbies. There aren't enough 'f' words to describe what they say....I've added 'fibs' to the collection on the left. They have given me weeks of edu-fact check material. At least the Catholic groups acknowledge My School data - even if Stephen Elder gives it a twist. The Independents' contribution exists in some parallel universe! 
Want to see Edu-Latest going back to 2008? Click here

Edu-graph This is the LATEST (May 2017) government funding graph BY SECTOR. For a clearer image follow this link

The numbers in brackets below the graph indicate the sample size in each category.  The school and student numbers in the lower ICSEA bands are relatively small and these are mostly government schools.

A brief inspection shows that two-thirds of all schools are to be found in the ICSEA ranges from 950 to 1149 where the government funding per student within each range varies little from sector to sector. 
About us
This site monitors media comment and research on the educational issues that matter. To contribute your sources and links email Chris:  bonnorc@gmail.com


We'll include links from time to time. Do keep in touch with Save Our Schools. Trevor Cobbold's research is compelling and his site has excellent links to other sites.

Other sites keep track of new articles, reports and research on schools. These include the TJ Ryan Foundation, The Conversation and Australian Policy Online

Here are the widely reported stories about Australia's schools, from my work with Bernie Shepherd.

OUR LATEST is The Vanishing Private School, published end of January 2017 and reported in The Guardian. 

September 2016: Institutionalised Inequality Published in Inside Story

June 2016: Uneven playing field: the state of Australian schools released by the Centre for Policy Development.

March 2016:
School Daze - what My School really says about our schools.

February 2016:
...and half a story doesn't fit the facts. Our response to One school does not fit all, issued by the Centre for Independent Studies. 

July 16th 2015:
'Private school, public cost' - Findings from My School 2015. First report in the SMH

Equity in Australian schooling - an update. (October 2014) What Gonski found to be bad we have found to be worse. Reports about it here and here. Also in Inside Story. UPDATED My School 6 version now available: Gonski, My School and the Education Market.

The public and private of student achievement (December 2014) Schools with similar students get similar results. Reported in the Sun Herald.

School funding and achievement - following the money trail (February 2015) Similar schools get similar results, so what does it cost? Read the main media report and our oped in the Guardian Australia.

Is the idea of a school community - at least in a geographic sense - a myth? Just a quarter of our schools have an enrolment that reflects their locality.