Truancy, bullying and intimidation among students is rife in Australian schools while teachers report being ill-prepared to manage disruptive behaviours, a new OECD report says. Source: AFR.
Arresting and reversing trends of declining academic performance, particularly among older students, is of immediate concern, with inequalities in student learning starting at a young age and growing over time.
“Australia must simultaneously build on improved performance for younger students and arrest declining performance for older students,” according to the report, Education Policy Outlook in Australia.
While Australia’s school education system is generally high-performing and well-resourced, issues including student performance, teacher attrition, poor teacher preparation and worrying student behaviour need immediate attention, the report says.
Australian primary aged students attract $US11,340 ($16,984) in funding compared with the OECD average of $US9923 ($14,862).
The report said the disciplinary climate in Australia was among the least favourable in the OECD.
Glenn Fahey, director of the education program at the Centre for Independent Studies, said the OECD’s index of disciplinary climate was a measure of classroom disorder and disruption that had been consistently worsening in Australia, making it among the worst in the developed world.
Student truancy is higher than the OECD average, with one in three 15-year-olds reporting having skipped at least one day of school in the previous two weeks.
Education Minister Jason Clare said the report confirms challenges facing the education sector, all of which were raised in a recent Productivity Commission report.
It would provide an important perspective as state and federal governments negotiate a new national funding agreement, with a review already under way.
Bad behaviour in Australian classrooms among the worst in OECD (By Julie Hare, The Australian Financial Review)