Story from today's Age
Students at state schools in Melbourne's poorer communities feel just as connected to their teachers and care as much about education as students at elite independent schools.
These are the preliminary findings of a major longitudinal study in which Melbourne researchers have begun comparing more than 26,000 year 10 students in 12 cities around the world.
The Victoria University researchers also surveyed teachers and principals for what is known as the International Study of City Youth.
Their early findings indicate students at state schools in low socio-economic communities enjoy being at school as much as their wealthier counterparts.
Victoria University education policy professor Stephen Lamb said student engagement and "attachment" to their school could be higher at low-performing schools compared with elite schools.
"This statistic is invisible in the comparisons of schools that happen at this time of year, but it's important to recognise the work that teachers are doing to engage all kinds of students in a positive experience of school," he said.
The researchers conducted surveys at 49 independent, state and Catholic schools from across Melbourne's socio-economic spectrum.