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Selective schools eclipse elite private institutions on advantage scales

Michael Pachi

Though long regarded as the great equalisers of education, a new study has revealed selective schools are now eclipsing elite, high-fee private schools when it comes to advantage.

Over half of the state’s twenty most socio-educationally advantaged schools are now selective, with some 75 percent of selective school students coming from the highest quarter of socio-educational advantage.

A mere 2 percent of selective school students come from the lowest quarter.

Co-author of the study by the Centre for Policy Development, Christina Ho, says it may be time to reassess the selective school framework.

“Ultimately, what we’re finding is that selective schools just inherently add to the inequality and hierarchies between schools that really polarise results,” she explains to Michael Pachi.

“I think if you’re from a disadvantage background, you’re pretty much shut out of selective schools. It’s quite shocking that these public schools are all but inaccessible to the majority of students.”

With competition rife among selective school hopefuls, it’s thought parents who can afford to invest the time and money into extra tutoring are those whose children are more likely to succeed in the selective schools entrance test.

“We’ve got parents now who are often investing thousands of dollars over many years to get their kids trained up to do that selective schools test.”

“So we’re really questioning about whether there is a need to keep on adding more selective places.”

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Michael Pachi
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