Postcode is still having a significant effect on students’ ability to learn and perform well in NAPLAN. Unstable funding models, and the Federal Government’s continual questioning of the funding principles of Gonski do nothing to ease it.
It’s the role of government to invest in schools in regional and low-SES areas so every Tasmanian child can aim high. Unfortunately, where a student lives is still determining their educational outcome.
Long term, successive government failures to address inequality have led to many children from disadvantaged areas not achieving equally high results.
While initiatives like ‘Big Picture’ go some way to tackling educational inequality, more government funding is needed to make sure children aren’t slipping through the cracks.
The NAPLAN data also shows is a lag between the male and female students. This is another area that needs targeted teaching programs, and funding priority.
Most Tasmanian students are keeping pace with Western Australian and South Australian students in numeracy and literacy, but policy makers, educators and communities have a long way to go to make our students equal in a global context.
The way to address inequality in education is by breaking down stigmas and with stable, targeted funding from both Federal and State governments to schools with the highest need.
Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Education spokesperson