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The News
Growing Up In Australia

This Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, which commenced in 2004, is conducted as a partnership among the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), the Australian Institute of
Family Studies (AIFS) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with advice provided by a consortium of leading researchers. It is the fi rst national, longitudinal study of child and adolescent development.

The study follows approximately 10,000 children in two age cohorts (now aged 8-9 years and 12-13 years), and their families. Families were fi rst interviewed in 2004 and have been interviewed every two years since then. Initially funded for the fi rst four waves, the Australian Government will continue to fund it for at least another four waves, commencing with Wave 5 this year.

In addition to interviewing the study children and their parents, â??Growing Up In Australiaâ?? also collects information from other key people in childrenâ??s lives, including teachers. With parental permission, teachers are invited to complete a short mailed questionnaire. The children, their families, teachers and schools are not identifi able in the data.

This policy and research work assists government in providing better support for children as they grow up. For further information view the website www.aifs.gov.au/growingup or contact Dr. Ben Edwards on (03) 9214 7853 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Public Policy Institute Research Papers

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) commisioned the Public Policy Institute of the Australian Catholic University to prepare research papers on the issues of Equity in Education, Choice and Values and Parental Contribution to Education.
The first two papers - Equity and Education and Choice and Values - have now been released and a summary of each paper is provided below. A copy of the papers is available at www.acu.edu.au/ppi

Equity and Education
This paper outlines different interpretations of equity in education, highlighting evidence about how schooling contributes to greater equity and stressing the importance of focusing on education outcomes to improve equity. Very signifi cantly, it shows that non-government schools â??make a substantial contribution to overcoming social disadvantage through:

â?¢ a clear focus on individual students and achievement;
â?¢ close links with their school community;
â?¢ establishing a quality learning environment; and
� the ability to respond fl exibly and innovatively to student needs.�

The paper refers to equity as the main polarising issue between government and non-government school supporters and emphasises research evidence that establishes â??the signifi cant contribution non-government schools make to  creating a more equal and productive Australian society and to improving the life chances of students from disadvantaged backgroundsâ?. A comprehensive review of research evidence regarding equity and quality expectations and  outcomes of Australian schools is provided and also some analysis of social diversity in society and schools. This evidence shows that investing in quality education is the best investment in equity and that this is more effective when schools have the fl exibility to address the educational needs of each student, strong accountability processes to parents and government and the ability to recruit high quality staff.


The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (December 2008) coupled equity and excellence as the twin primary goals for schooling, stressing â??not only equality of opportunity, but also more equitable outcomesâ?. The paper highlights recent research evidence showing that non-government schools, now enrolling more than one third of students, add value to student performance regardless of social background and contribute to greater equity. The signifi cance of early intervention in order to achieve real differences in educational outcomes is emphasised.


Higher overall levels of education have multiple benefi ts to individuals and to society as a whole, and researchers such as Hanushek and Woessmann (2010) for the OECD also argue that the quality of learning outcomes makes the
difference. They found that, after controlling for socioeconomic intake, factors including accountability, autonomy and choice contribute to greater equity and higher achievement.

Equity and Education affi rms that â??non-government schools have been effective in achieving the high quality educational outcomes on which economic growth and national prosperity rely. Funding policies supporting school choice have underpinned this result.â?

Choice and Values

The principle of choice has long been a divisive issue in education policy, with the view among some that choice is a matter of income and social class. However, this is not supported by survey evidence which shows that choice is more closely linked to values, attitudes, community and culture than it is to perceived notions of class and wealth. The Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute, Prof. Scott Prasser, stated that â??Evidence rather than ideology
should be the foundation of school funding policies . . .and the evidence shows that policies supporting school choice bring benefi ts to all students.�


The report indicates that international studies have established a causal link between policies of choice and higher educational outcomes. As school choice has been demonstrated to lift the achievement of all students, especially disadvantaged students, governments around the world are adopting such policies, accompanied by accountability, autonomy and a share of government funding.


Signifi cantly, recent research in Australia, by isolating school effects from student background, shows that non-government schools in Australia add value to student performance in the fi nal years of school by approximately 9 per cent for independent schools and 5 per cent for Catholic systemic schools. These results take account of socioeconomic background, prior achievement and various aspects of student learning.

 
Minister Garrett's Statement on Review of Funding

The Federal Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, has provided a statement on the Review of Funding for Schooling in response to concerns raised by non-government schools about future funding arrangements. A copy of this statement is available by clicking on the link below.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind schools that a Parent Forum on the Review of Funding is being held at Abbotsleigh School tomorrow evening (Wednesday, 8th June at 7.30pm) to provide information to parents on the possible implications of the Review of Funding for independent schools. In addition to parents, independent school principals and school leaders are welcome and encouraged to attend. For further information and to register visit the website of the NSW Parents Council at www.parentscouncil.nsw.edu.au

Min Garrett Statement - Review of Funding

Yours sincerely,

Dr Geoff Newcombe
Executive Director


 
New College Website
Sunday, 22 May 2011 21:51
Welcome to St. Mark's College New Website! Hope you enjoy navigating the pages and learning more about the college you love using this user friendly site.
 


Bishop Pope Tawadros II

HG Bishop Daniel-HH Pope Tawadros II

Verse of the Day

Psalm 16:8
“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

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