Private school superiority a myth latest study shows

by Brett Henebery19 Jan 2015

A new study has thrown a curveball into the academic slugfest between public and private schools.

Public school students are performing on par (and in some cases better than) their private school counterparts, according to a Save Our Schools (SOS) analysis of year 9 NAPLAN scores.

More than 250 metropolitan schools in QLD were included in the research, including 115 public schools, 55 Catholic schools and 84 Independent schools.

SOS national convener, Trevor Cobbold, said the results showed the perception that private schools deliver better results was a myth.

“I think a lot of people will be very surprised that among median and high SES schools, the results were very similar across all three education sectors,” Cobbold said.

“It’s not something that’s well appreciated by the ordinary parent. There’s a common belief that private schools deliver better results than public schools.”

Results were also markedly similar between public, Catholic and Independent schools at the bottom of the high-SES category.
Australian Education Union (AEU) deputy federal president, Correna Haythorpe, said the study demonstrates that public schools can be top performers despite having fewer resources.

“The dedicated staff of these schools deserve credit for their work,” Haythorpe said.

“It also shows the strong link between economic disadvantage and low academic achievement in Australia.

“We need Gonski funding, which recognises the greater needs of these students, to close these gaps in achievement by ensuring all schools are funded to minimum resource standards.”


  • by Mythbuster 21/01/2015 11:26:30 AM

    If Naplan is the only "clear" indicator or measure of education and a school's performance then the only seriously clear conclusions that can be drawn is that the education system is in bigger trouble than anyone could imagine. An educator with that attitude in the classroom would want to be teaching a bunch of high achievers as anyone else might just be considered sub-standard, and this person would most definitely not want their pay to be tied to this measure. Aren't we lucky that the world is a multivariate place and not a single variate place with Naplan at its core? I look forward to seeing what other great research can be undertaken that draws such useful and mind blowing conclusions.