The Saturday Paper June 10-16, 2023

Rising inequality in the Australian school system is leading to a drop in the standard of education as the public sector grapples with teacher burnout and a shortage of funding. By Jane Caro.

In the 23 years since then prime minister John Howard and his Education minister David Kemp decided parental choice should be at the centre of Australia’s publicly subsidised education system, our schools have become increasingly segregated. Middle-class families have flocked to what they see as “desirable” schools and left the rest in their dust. In 2021, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development study that compares education systems internationally found 41 per cent of government schools in Australia could be classed as disadvantaged, compared with 3 per cent of Catholic and less than 1 per cent of independent schools.

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