‘Winners and losers’: school shopping widens education gap

Jan 30, 2019 by

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By Jordan Baker –

The education gulf is widening with the numbers of high achieving HSC students increasingly concentrated in advantaged schools at the expense of disadvantaged schools, new research shows.

Aspirational parents are driving the shift as they “trade up” schools for educational institutions which have students like their own children or even more advantaged.

The paper from the Centre for Policy Development found HSC high achievers were increasingly clustered in these top-end schools over the past 10 years.

The concentration of advantaged students attending the most privileged schools also increased by 13 per cent. There is a similar pattern in Victorian and Queensland schools.

“Distinguished Achievers in the HSC are no longer found in lower (socio-economic status) schools in anywhere near the numbers they were a decade ago,” said the paper‘s author, principal-turned academic Chris Bonnor.

“Those well placed to do so are walking away from less advantaged schools at an increasing rate.

“If we track school-by-school results over a long period of time a story emerges about diverging schools, with widening gaps between those seen to be winners and those judged as losers.”

Mr Bonnor said so-called school shopping tended to be more about seeking out peers than school quality.

Advantage or disadvantage refers to a student’s socio-educational background, which takes into account their parents’ job, education and credentials.

Source: ‘Winners and losers’: school shopping widens education gap

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