Australian schools see steep decline in student’s performance

As compared to high-achieving OECD countries, Australian schools use “significantly more” technology in classrooms despite little evidence to show it steps up standards, according to a new report which warns that extra Gonski money will not lift results unless it is spent effectively. 

A new report by the Centre for Independent Studies says the focus of education policy must shift from "spend more money" to using funding to "invest in cost-effective, evidence-based policies and practices".

This could include a focus on phonics, interventions for underperforming students and more professional development for teachers to assist them manage classroom behaviour.

The report “Getting the most out of Gonski 2.0” suggested that if the extra $23.5 billion for the federal government's Gonski 2.0 funding plan is not put to use effectively there is a "risk that in 2027, Australia's literacy and numeracy results would have continued to decline despite significantly more government spending". 

The report further says that this would be unfair to decline education to the students they deserve and not generating return for the taxpayers’ money. 

The report says that among all five top-performing [OECD] countries, Australian students use computers most.

Australia tops the list of countries when it comes to investment in school technology but this by itself has not helped to improve literacy and numeracy.

“The report says two common school investments that lack sufficient evidence to justify more spending include smaller class sizes and technology."