Tuesday, 17 May 2022
    02
    Nov
    031120, Education

    Generation needed to close divide

    One of the most comprehensive studies of Australia’s education system has found postcodes and family backgrounds impact the opportunities available to students from pre-school to adulthood, with one in three disadvantaged students falling through the cracks, ABC News reports.

    Sergio Macklin, the deputy lead of education policy at Victoria University’s Michell Institute, released the report Educational Opportunity in Australia, which calls for immediate extra resources to help disadvantaged, Indigenous and remote students.

    “Educational success is strongly linked to the wealth of a young person’s family and where they grow up,” Mr Macklin said.

    “I think Australia’s really letting down students from low-income families, Aboriginal students and those in remote areas.”

    The report critiques progress on last December’s Alice Springs Education Council meeting where, in the wake of Australia’s poor performance against its international counterparts, education ministers pledged to deliver a system that produced excellence and equity.

    Last year’s poor results on equality of education have now been exacerbated by remote learning, with some students without internet or stability at home falling weeks behind their peers.

    “The children and young people that were being worst served by the education system are probably the ones that are being most affected by it,” Mr Macklin said.

    “So you’ll see employment stress in families dramatically increased student vulnerability.”

    The report followed the progress of more than 300,000 students from school entry through primary school, into high school and onto early adulthood.

    Mr Macklin believes the problem will take a generation to fix.

    The report found disadvantaged students were more than twice as likely as their peers to not be in study or work by the age of 24.

    “I think what this report highlights is that we’re losing young people’s opportunities in adulthood — and that’s a real problem for young people,” Mr Macklin said.

    FULL STORY

    Closing Australia’s education divide will take a generation, landmark study finds (ABC News)

    Educational opportunity in Australia (Victoria University)