The suburbs shaded red are disadvantaged areas, while light blue is prosperous. Yellow zones fall somewhere between them in their socio-economic status. Image Source: Macquarie University.
"It does not matter who owns the school, that is where the school is located, which is important," says study director author Crichton Smith.
The researchers surveyed their analysis and showed that better schoolchildren are largely merged in well-equipped, inner-Melbourne areas, while below average schools are located in the city's suburban park.
And the difference between the different areas grows, warns the study co-author Nick Parr.
Professor Parr said that children whose parents could not send them to a school in one of the more prosperous areas failed increasingly in their education.
Peter Goss from the Grattan Institute said that schools in favored areas benefited from the fact that families shared similar educational and employment backgrounds.
"If you are surrounded by disadvantaged students, it tends to pull you down, if you are surrounded by students who are beneficial, you move," he said.
Schools in disadvantaged areas also had to contend with a higher proportion of students from troubled backgrounds and a difficulty in attracting standout teachers.
Dr Goss also pointed to the Grattan Institute's research from 2016, which showed that the figures for the most disadvantaged year three students were about one year behind their privileged equivalents.
When the students reached nine years, this gap had risen and the most disadvantaged group remained in mathematics's skills for almost four years.
But the researchers noted the socio-economic difference between schools were not as pronounced in Victoria as in other states.
Of the 17 most successful schools in disadvantaged suburbs nationwide, they found that eight were in Melbourne.
Professor Parr said that this could be because Melbourne had more favored and disadvantaged suburbs adjacent to each other, especially in the west of the city, which would affect the mix of pupils in some schools.
"It may be a school nailing it with its teaching practices and programs until the year five," said Dr. Goss.
Or, he said, it may be because they attracted non-English-speaking students from less favorable backgrounds, whose parents had taught them to put a lot of effort into their education.
The analysis also shows that schools in Melbourne played better 5 NAPLAN read scores than other states in 2016.
Almost half of Melbourne's primary school was above the national average. And 19 percent were below average, a lower proportion than any other city than Canberra.
The researchers used year five NAPLAN points in reading as their indicator of school performance, as they motivated this was a core knowledge that underpinned other learning. Areas were classified as favored or disadvantaged based on a number of factors of locals such as income, education, employment and internet access.
Craig Butt joined The Age 2011 and specialized in data-driven journalism. In addition, he is celebrating the popular Melbourne Express blog on Thursdays and Fridays.