The Gonski recommendations need to be implemented as soon as possible, or else the country faces perpetuating education disadvantage, according to Professor Richard Teese from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.


“The funding situation in Australia is entrenching disadvantage,” Professor Teese said. “Our research shows that disadvantage is heavily concentrated in government schools.  Across Australia, almost all schools with the poorest social profile are in the public sector, but instead of raising the quality of student achievement in these schools, funding has been diverted into middle-class choice.


Professor Teese explained that government schools, while performing as well or better than private schools after adjusting for intake, played an almost exclusive role in educating the poor. Over 30 years, there has been no change in the proportion of low-socio-economic-status children educated in government schools, while private schools have continued to expand into the middle-class market. 


“Funding has already achieved this for middle-class families. Poorer communities are missing out at a time when success at school has never been more important," Professor Teese concluded.