Student success more dependent on school funding than socioeconomic status

Feb 24, 2014
Investment in schools outweighs local disadvantage

Students who attend good, well-funded schools have the best chance of academic success, regardless of the socioeconomic status of their home suburb, a new report shows.

Researchers from Monash University also found that supporting early aspirations in students was critical to their progress through school and beyond.

The researchers studied education and training outcomes for students living in areas of social advantage and compared them with those from neighbourhoods with low .

Their report focused on four neighbourhood characteristics' –socioeconomic status, residential stability, household type and ethnic diversity – effect on outcomes for 15, 17 and 19-year-olds.

Associate Professor Chandra Shah from the Centre for Economics of Education and Training said the study found these neighbourhood characteristics had little impact on how students progressed once effects of schools that these students attended were taken into account.

'This means that resourcing of schools and other aspects such as class size, quality of the school leadership and teacher quality are important determinants of student outcomes," Associate Professor Shah said.

Associate Professor Shah noted that good schools, with high levels of students going on to further study or training, were usually located in suburbs of higher socioeconomic status.

"The analysis shows that two students attending the same school, with similar individual characteristics and parental background, but living in different neighbourhoods are unlikely to have different outcomes – therefore it was the school that made the difference," Associate Professor Shah said.

He said that students' attitude to schooling, application to school work and aspiration for further study when they were 15 years of age are important predictors of their progress through and career.

"Mentoring efforts that help shape the aspirations of young people at an early age could have a high pay-off," Associate Professor Shah said.

However, this finding only reinforced the need for better funding for schools, he said.

"Poorly funded schools are unable to provide such things as mentoring programs that encourage students to undertake further education or training."

The research, funded by NCVER, can be downloaded from their website.

Explore further: Study gives Catholic schools poor marks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Most students exposed to school-based food commercialism

Jan 13, 2014

Most students in elementary, middle and high schools are exposed to food commercialism (including exclusive beverage contracts and the associated incentives, profits and advertising) at school, although there has been a decrease ...

Research findings give nod to Gonski

Aug 21, 2013

A Murdoch University researcher says Australia should strive to have every school be a good school, and is calling on Federal political party leaders to clarify their positions on how they intend to implement ...

Recommended for you

Local education politics 'far from dead'

7 hours ago

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren't just pushing ...

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

7 hours ago

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the ...

Why aren't consumers buying remanufactured products?

9 hours ago

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members ...

Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall

10 hours ago

People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

Understanding the economics of human trafficking

Jul 28, 2014

Although Europe is one of the strictest regions in the world when it comes to guaranteeing the respect of human rights, the number of people trafficked to or within the EU still amounts to several hundred ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

soaprules
5 / 5 (1) Feb 24, 2014
Well, in a way that is kinda linked to the socioeconomic level of the area and the school itself. But yeah, a good school is a key requirement in success, but there aren't that many "good" ones these days.