Private schools should have public funding stripped: survey


With most students returning to school around the country today, Australian parents have sent a clear message to Labor to end school funding inequality, with new survey data showing that 70% believe government funding should be stripped from private schools while the public system remains underfunded.

Half of all parents surveyed believe that private schools should receive no government support at all.

Only 1.3% of public schools in Australia currently receive their bare minimum funding, which means 2.5 million students are returning this year to under-resourced schools that are not able to deliver them the education they deserve.

Meanwhile, 98% of private schools receive more government funding than they are supposed to.

The Lonergan Research poll of 1005 Australian parents of public and private school children, commissioned by the Greens, also found:

  • 3 in 5 parents, including 48% of private school parents, believe the Australian school system is designed to benefit wealthier families

  • two thirds of parents, including 52% of private school parents, think that private schools that receive public funding should not be able to charge fees

  • Three quarters of parents, including 54% of private school parents, said that private schools receiving government funding should not be able to pick and choose which students they accept

  • 69% of parents believe that private schools have too much money

Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Education (Primary & Secondary) Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“This poll shows that Australian parents know that the school system is inherently unfair and that public schools are copping a raw deal.

“Even parents of private school kids acknowledge that the system is rigged in their favour.

“Under Labor and the Coalition, elite private schools have for decades been subsidised with billions of dollars of government largesse, while the public system – which is responsible for educating more than 80% of our most disadvantaged kids – has languished. Labor’s own review into the school system called out this shocking disparity. 

“While the richest schools in the country are building gleaming monuments to their privilege, schools in our poorest and most remote communities slide further and further into decline.  

“If Labor is genuine about leaving no one behind then fully funding public schools is a great inflation-neutral way to reduce the cost burden on families and give our kids a brighter future.

“The new National School Reform Agreement and bilateral deals are being negotiated right now. With Labor in power federally and in every mainland state and territory they have absolutely no excuse not to deliver 100% of the Schooling Resource Standard to every public school by January 2025.”

School polling table

Lonergan methodology statement