The study shows that NSW Independent school students scored significantly higher than the national and state average in the PISA assessments in mathematical literacy.
The study also revealed that socioeconomic status and family background only accounted for a small part of the variation even though most people believe this to be a major factor. Even when adjusted for socioeconomic status, the differences in achievement were still significant. These differences are related to the quality of education provided in independent schools across NSW.
The outcomes prove that high performance is linked, above all, with quality teaching and leadership and that the higher achievement of students in Independent schools is directly associated with strong teacher-student relations, a good disciplinary climate, effective classroom management and a sense of belonging.
While there are many influences on achievement the evidence suggests that students at independent schools benefit from:
- capable and professional teachers
- a school climate that values academic achievement
- personal support
- a safe and ordered environment
- a sense of belonging to a community
Chair of the AISNSW Institute, Bill Daniels (OAM), said: “The strong performance of students in Independent schools across a range of measures is often dismissed as being the result of wealth. This ignores the fact that two-thirds of Independent schools in NSW have a socioeconomic score in the lower half of the SES scale. The research shows that it is parents’ education levels and the value they place on education, along with school and teacher quality that are the strongest defining factors.”
As the Principal of an independent school in NSW, I am immensely proud of these results and achievements and particularly how well they reflect on our schools. I take this opportunity to thank all parents who have chosen HVGS as the school for their children and affirm the investment they are making in your child’s education. Well done!