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Research questions the advantage of Selective Schools

Posted on 3 August 2018
Research questions the advantage of Selective Schools
A new analysis from the Centre for Policy Development has found that selective schools have become "hubs of concentrated advantage".
  • In 2016 and 2017, 45 per cent of all Year 12 "distinguished achievers" from NSW government schools came from fully or partially selective schools. This is remarkable given that selective schools comprise only 11 per cent of all government secondary schools in the state.
  • Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of selective school students in 2016 came from the highest quarter of socio-educational advantage.
  • Only 2 per cent of students in fully selective schools came from the lowest quarter. This includes selective schools located in relatively low-income areas.
  • Research authors, Dr Christina Ho, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, and Chris Bonnor, a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, said the NSW Government should rethink their selective schools' policy.
"The NSW government's gifted education policy review needs to not just review admissions regimes but seriously examine whether selective schools in their current form serve the best interests of all our young people."

A new study from the University of Melbourne also found that selective-entry schools only marginally improve students' ATARs.

Students at selective-entry high schools achieve ATARs that are at most two points higher, on average, than similar students elsewhere. The research suggests high-achieving students will do well at any school.

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Tags: curriculum

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