Essential Report

Can we make our kids smarter?

May 1, 2012


Pam Cahir talks about the biggest improvements to early childhood education in 25 years.

More Australian babies and toddlers are in childcare than ever before. And they’re there when their brains are laying down the pathways vital for later learning, intelligence and social capability.

Pam Cahir, the CEO from Early Childhood Australia, tells 3Q how new national reforms are ensuring childcare centres provide a nurturing environment that will ultimately have a long-term beneficial effect on the society of the future.

Critics of the Government’s plan say the changes will cost up to $27 a day more in childcare. But Pam Cahir says they are exaggerating the price increases, which she estimates to be closer to $5 a day.

The ECA believes the small price increase is warranted to ensure the long-term goals of the reform agenda are met.

Are we dumbing down our universities?

May 1, 2012


Matt McGowan explains why opening up university places is admirable but will fail unless it is matched with better funding.

This year almost 90 per cent of school leavers who applied to go to university got a place. That’s because the government removed the caps on university enrolments to create more opportunities for those from lower socio-economic groups.

But Matt McGowan from the National Tertiary Education Union tells 3Q that academics are already suffering with the swelling numbers of foreign fee paying students. With this new influx – which brings in much less funding capital – the pressures on the system will be magnified.

He talks about the NTEU’s campaign Invest in Universities calling for a fix to the problem.

Opinion of Gonski Report Recommendations

Feb 27, 2012

Q. The Gonski report on funding education has recommended a new model for school funding that would mean all students are entitled to a set level of funding regardless of where they go to school, disadvantaged schools receive more funding and taxpayer funding for private schools is adjusted down based on parents’ capacity to pay.

Do you support or oppose these recommendations?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total support

68%

79%

64%

76%

Total oppose

13%

7%

17%

14%

Strongly support

25%

37%

17%

35%

Support

43%

42%

47%

41%

Oppose

9%

5%

12%

9%

Strongly oppose

4%

2%

5%

5%

Don’t know

19%

14%

19%

10

68% say they support the recommendations of the Gonski report on funding education and 13% were opposed.
Strongest support was shown by Labor voters (79%), Greens voters (76%) and people aged 55+ (75%).

Comments »

Education Funding or Budget Surplus

Feb 27, 2012

Q. The Gonski report also recommends a $5 billion increase in education funding with $1.5 billion of this additional funding coming from the Federal Government and the rest from the State Governments. If the Federal Government provides this additional funding it may mean they will not be able to return the budget to surplus next year.

Do you think it is more important to provide this additional funding for schools or more important to return a budget surplus?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

More important to provide additional funding to schools

61%

63%

58%

83%

More important to return a budget surplus

24%

25%

29%

11%

Don’t know

15%

12%

12%

6%

61% think it is more important to provide additional funding to schools and 24% say it is more important to return a budget surplus.

Those who think it is more important to provide additional funding were women (65%), aged 45+ (67%), and Greens voters (83%).

Comments »

Funding for Elite private Schools

Feb 27, 2012

Q. Do you think all schools should get an increase in funding or should some of the wealthy elite private schools not get an increase in funding?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

All schools should receive an increase in funding

23%

17%

31%

11%

Some wealthy elite private schools should not get an increase in funding

73%

78%

68%

83%

Don’t know

4%

5%

2%

5%

Only 23% think that all schools should receive an increase in funding and 73% think that some wealthy elite private schools should not get an increase.

Highest support for all schools to receive an increase in funding came from Liberal/National voters (31%) and those on incomes over $1,600pw (28%).

Highest support for wealthy elite private schools not receiving additional funding came from Greens voters (83%), Labor voters (78%) and people aged 45-64 (78%).

Comments »

Opinion of School Building Program

Jan 30, 2012

Q. Overall, how would you rate the Federal Government’s BER program to fund new school buildings which was introduced during the GFC?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Total with children at school Children at primary school Children at secondary school
Total good 30% 49% 17% 39% 43% 49% 38%
Total poor 31% 10% 50% 18% 27% 27% 26%
Very good 7% 15% 3% 5% 11% 12% 11%
Good 23% 34% 14% 34% 32% 37% 27%
Neither good nor poor 15% 21% 22% 27% 21% 17% 24%
Poor 15% 8% 20% 13% 12% 12% 11%
Very poor 16% 2% 30% 5% 15% 15% 15%
Don’t know 17% 19% 11% 16% 10% 6% 12%

Respondents were divided over the Federal Government’s BER program to fund new school buildings – 30% thought it was good and 31% poor. Opinions were closely related to voting intention- 49% of Labor voters thought the program was good and 50% of Liberal/National voters thought it was poor.

Households with children at primary or secondary schools were more positive – especially those with children at primary school.  43% of all those with school children in their household and 49% of those with primary students thought it was good.

Comments »

Benefit to Schools of Building program

Jan 30, 2012

If children at school –

Q. How much did the schools those children attend benefit from the Government’s school building program?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Children at primary school Children at secondary school
A lot 19% 25% 16% 26% 15%
Moderately 30% 37% 31% 32% 29%
A little 23% 15% 33% 24% 22%
Not at all 12% 10% 11% 7% 17%
Don’t know 15% 13% 9% 11% 17%

Of the respondents with children at school, 49% thought their schools had benefited a lot of moderately, 23% thought they had benefited a little and 12% not at all. 58% of those with children at primary school thought their schools had benefited a lot/moderately compared to 44% of those with children at secondary schools.

Comments »

Importance of Issues in Voting

Aug 16, 2010

 

Q. How important are the following in deciding which party you will vote for?

  Top priority Very important Quite important Not so important Don’t know
Better at handling Australia’s economy 37% 48% 10% 1% 4%
They have better policies on things like education and health 31% 47% 16% 1% 4%
They are more capable of governing effectively than the other parties 30% 47% 16% 1% 6%
They are more likely to represent the interests of all Australians 30% 45% 18% 3% 5%
They will do things that help me and my family 28% 42% 21% 4% 5%
They have better policies on things like national security and immigration 24% 42% 22% 6% 5%
Better at looking after the interests people like me 23% 47% 22% 4% 4%
They have better policies on things like industrial relations and supporting Australian workers 23% 44% 24% 4% 5%
More trustworthy than the other parties 22% 44% 21% 5% 8%
They have better policies on things like environment and climate change 21% 41% 23% 9% 5%
They have a better leader 16% 40% 28% 8% 7%
I always vote for them 9% 15% 24% 42% 10%

 Key factors in deciding which party to vote for are handling the economy (37% top priority), policies on education and health (31%), capable of governing effectively (30%) and representing the interests of all Australians (30%). Comments »

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