I have often read that Australia spends less per child on Education than the UK, and today I was looking at some statistics on this from the OECD.
This showed that the UK spent $17,114 per child, and Australia spent $15,338 per child, which, at first glance does indicate that the UK actually does spend more on each child’s’ education, however, it is not that simple…
Due to a major difference in the Australian education system, to most other countries, there is a large amount of education spending that may well not be included in the Australia figures.
About one third of all Australian school children attend private schools and are therefore also funded by parents payments. If we assume that parents pay about half the cost of their child’s education, then the revised Australian spending per child would be about $18,400, much closer to the UK figure.
These $ figures are expressed as ‘per student relative to GDP per capita‘ or in my understanding; a figure that equalises for comparison purposes.
The first 20 Countries
$21,531 United States
$17,114 United Kingdom
A major point of interest is the amount that Finland spends on Education per child.
Finland is often quoted as being one of the highest ranking countries for the quality of eduction, yet it is also one of the lowest is cost, per the chart above.
Students in Finland came out on top overall. Finnish 15-year-olds did the best in science and came in second in math. PISA 2006
As Finland is the same as the UK, in having a predominantly State Education system, it appears that spending per child is not actually a relevant measure.