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Regional schools failing to close the gap

The NAPLAN results for 2014 are out and they basically reveal what everyone already knew or suspected.

Children in regional areas are at a substantial disadvantage when it comes to education compared to those who live in the suburbs of Sydney.

Since NAPLAN was introduced in 2008, public schools in regional towns and cities have been more prone to fall behind the national average than those in Sydney.

The results haven’t really gotten any better or worse in that time, especially at Dubbo where most schools are still achieving similar outcomes to when testing first started.

Educators are quick to point out that NAPLAN results aren’t a complete indication of how children are performing and that it true but they are still an indicator and one that schools are using to identify where students’ weaknesses lie.

The only way the results are going to improve is by giving regional schools the funding they need to upgrade resources and facilities.

Director Public Schools Macquarie Michael Cronk said the funding increases from the first years of Gonski reforms had begun to filter through to schools, which would have an impact in years to come.

However, the federal government hasn’t committed to the final two years of Gonski, which contain the biggest funding increases and that threatens to bring any improvements to an abrupt halt.

Plenty of people acknowledge there is a gap between the quality of education provided in country and metropolitan areas but now somebody needs to step up and do something about it.

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