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Tom Greenwell

In 2011, when businessman David Gonski was reviewing education funding in Australia, he visited two primary schools in Sydney’s west. At the first, he found the principal dealing with glass from a break-in the night before. As he sat in the school’s reception, he observed that the children arriving for school were from non-English-speaking migrant backgrounds. When they toured the school, the principal told him of the challenges he faced: homes without books; scant parental involvement. The second school, just a few minutes by car down the road, seemed a world away. The children were in school uniform, Gonski was greeted by a concert of beautiful singing, the buildings were perfect. The school served a different group of students. Truancy was not a problem.

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