AEU makes a submission to the NAPLAN review
The AEU has made its submission to the current review into NAPLAN, arguing that (given the evidence of the test’s negative impact) the first recommendation of the review should be the abolition of NAPLAN student population testing. The review should focus on how NAPLAN’s educationally legitimate purposes can be better served. This would mean supporting a fit-for-purpose assessment system that is orientated to improving education outcomes for all students. Research indicates that such a system should be curriculum-based, incorporate the professional expertise of the classroom teacher and have a diagnostic and formative orientation – in other words, the antithesis to NAPLAN.
School funding inequality deeply entrenched over past decade
New analysis of ACARA data shows that funding inequality has been exacerbated under the Morrison government’s funding legislation and special deals for private schools. Private school funding over the past decade has grown up to nine times faster in real terms than public school funding. Catholic and private schools are far better resourced than public schools in every state, even though public schools enrol more than 80% of all disadvantaged students and 95% of all disadvantaged schools are public schools. ACARA found that government funding increases to private schools have been pivotal to them having far more resources than public schools.
Digital divide affects vulnerable students
An independent report commissioned by the federal branch of the AEU has revealed the persistent long-term gap in digital access, affordability and ability experienced by many public school students from disadvantaged circumstances. The change in learning arrangements due to COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the lack of digital inclusion for many students.
TAFE brings economic boom, despite lack of funding
A new report demonstrating TAFE’s role in Australia’s economy has warned that failing to invest in the sector will destroy one of the primary engines of economic growth, prosperity and equity. The report by the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute reveals that TAFE contributes an estimated $92.5 billion each year.
This report comes as the AEU’s 2020 State of our TAFEs survey, the first detailed snapshot of the sector for a decade, has revealed the impact that billions of dollars of Commonwealth budget cuts have had on the sector. AEU federal president Correna Haythorpe said that TAFE urgently required government investment to be at the forefront of Australia’s post COVID-19 recovery.