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Question Time: Public vs Private Education

Listen to Question Time: Public vs Private Education

‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’, Benjamin Franklin said, and it seems most people agree that education is important. Unfortunately, we disagree on the details: what constitutes a good education? And who should pay for it?

Education reform has featured in the ambitions of all prime ministers in this last decade of revolving-door leadership. Most recently, Malcolm Turnbull has proposed a radical plan of turning over funding of public education from the federal government to the states.

Last year, University of Queensland published a widely publicised study, showing that private school education does not give students an academic edge over their public school counterparts. So, why do governments keep pouring money into them? And why do parents continue to make sacrifices to educate their kids privately? Is an education about more than academic results and, if so, what do private schools offer that public schools don’t? How much of this is about marketing and perception?

We unpack these questions, and more, in a full hour of audience Q&A. Hosted by Madeleine Morris with Monash University education researcher, David Zyngier; former Camberwell High principal, Elida Brereton; and Lucy Clark, author of Beautiful Failures.

Madeleine Morris and Lucy Clark

Madeleine Morris and Lucy Clark

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