The independent schools don’t have the Australian Education Union’s propaganda talents, and so their interesting survey on attitudes towards private schools received very little coverage. There was a story in the print version of The Australian, but nothing online that I can find.
The UMR Research poll shows just how successful the AEU’s funding disinformation has been. A majority of respondents believe that private schools get the same public funding as government schools (25%) or more funding than government schools (33%). In reality, private schools get about half the public funding per student that government schools receive.
This error contributed to muddled responses on policy issues. Two differently-worded questions on whether private school students should receive the same funding as government school students received different levels of majority support (66%/58%). However, after being told the correct funding levels only 21% of respondents thought that the federal government should give private schools more funding, with 45% opting for current levels. Due to ignorance about the status quo, some respondents who supported same levels of funding in the earlier questions presumably thought that their reply meant no change or a cut in spending on private schools, rather than an increase.
Of those respondents with kids at a government school (an unspecified number, unfortunately) 42% said that if fees were not an issue they would prefer to send their kids to a private school. Continue reading “If cost was no obstacle, most students would attend private schools”