Genuinely independent research is valuable, but politically-motivated release of cherrypicked data causes confusion, not clarity.
Analysis of data on the My School website in The Age this week purportedly ‘challenges perceptions that government schools receive more state and federal funding per student than non-government schools’.
Frankly, in this case, poor research methods using My School data have provided a poor result. Data has been inappropriately and invalidly selected to provide a skewed view of funding entitlement.
State and federal funding arrangements reflect the fact that needy students receive greater funding support. Any comparison of the amount of funding received by different schools needs to consider the educational needs of individual students in these schools, so that like is being compared with like.
Where an individual school receives a higher amount of funding from government, this simply reflects the higher level of identified educational need of students in that school. There are needy students in all schools who need support, not needy schools, per se.
Schools in all sectors vary in size, tradition, philosophy and practice, and any measure of support, accountability or performance needs to take these factors into account.