Author: Chant, David, Lingard, Robert
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
In May 1991 the process of identification of a new list of Queensland schools to be funded under the Commonwealth's Disadvantaged Schools Program for the next triennium was begun. Given the aim of the program, the Commonwealth's concern is that the funds be directed efficiently towards those schools with concentrations of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. To that end, an index of disadvantage based on Australian Bureau of Statistics census data has been developed by Dr. Ken Ross, and is used to distribute Commonwealth funds among the States. However, the distribution of funds within Queensland has previously been determined by a survey of school principals. This paper outlines the construction of indices of socio-economic disadvantage for the classification of Queensland government schools and highlights some of the technical and policy difficulties arising from this utilisation of Ross's methodology. We focus on the many valid criticisms of our indices from knowledgeable policy consultants in the various regions of the State.