Jennifer Buckingham

Senior Research Fellow & Head of 'FIVE from FIVE' Literacy Project

Jennifer Buckingham

Expertise: Schools policy, school funding, school choice, literacy, NAPLAN, the science of teaching and learning

Jennifer’s main area of work is school education, and she has published papers on school choice, school funding, literacy, international assessments (including PISA), NAPLAN and My School, religious schools, boys’ education, teacher training and employment, class size, and educational disadvantage.

She currently heading up the CIS FIVE from FIVE Literacy Project which has the aim to have effective reading taught in every classroom, every day.

She is the author of the numerous reports including What the Gonski Review Got Wrong (with Blaise Joseph, 2018), Focus on Phonics: Why Australia Should Adopt the Year 1 Phonics Check (2017), Free to Choose Charter Schools: How charter and for-profit schools can boost public education (2015),  School Funding on a Budget (2014),Why Jaydon Can’t Read (2014), Religious Schools in Australia (2010), among others.

Jennifer has also written about child care and female labour force participation. Jennifer’s doctoral research was on literacy and social disadvantage.

Jennifer has been at the forefront of debate on education matters for two decades, with hundreds of articles in major newspapers and regular radio and speaking appearances. Her future work at CIS will continue to focus on the policies and practices that lift educational outcomes for all students.

For more information about FIVE from FIVE, visit the website at www.fivefromfive.org.au.

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Featured Publication

  • What the Gonski 2 Review got wrong 17 June 2018 | PP6
    The Gonski 2 Review into Australian schools failed to fulfill its terms of reference to examine the evidence regarding the most effective teaching and learning strategies, and to provide advice on how the extra federal government funding for schools should…...
    The Gonski 2 Review into Australian schools failed to fulfill its terms of reference to examine the evidence regarding the most effective teaching and learning strategies, and to provide advice on how the extra federal government funding for schools should…
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Media & Commentary

  • Curriculum reform must be based on evidence, not fads 04 November 2018 | The Sydney Morning Herald
    The NSW school curriculum review is no trivial matter, and will have serious consequences for the state’s students. The importance of the curriculum – what students are expected to know and be able to do at each stage of school –…
    The NSW school curriculum review is no trivial matter, and will have serious consequences for the state’s students. The importance of the curriculum – what students are expected to know and be able to do at each stage of school –…
    read more
  • Q&A focuses on difference, not agreement 12 October 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The ABC’s Q&A program is a curious beast. Even when there is broad agreement among panel members about numerous matters, the focus is on their differences of opinion. And so it was on Monday night, when I was on the…
    The ABC’s Q&A program is a curious beast. Even when there is broad agreement among panel members about numerous matters, the focus is on their differences of opinion. And so it was on Monday night, when I was on the…
    read more
  • Parents need NAPLAN data, not states hiding school performance 19 September 2018 | Australian Financial Review
    NAPLAN and My School were introduced for good reasons and continue to serve an important purpose. Yet they are constantly under threat from powerful players in education policy – especially education unions, who have been waging a relentless and hostile…
    NAPLAN and My School were introduced for good reasons and continue to serve an important purpose. Yet they are constantly under threat from powerful players in education policy – especially education unions, who have been waging a relentless and hostile…
    read more
  • Smart move is to keep smart phones out of classrooms 14 September 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    Smart phones have become a big educational talking point. This year, the French government banned the use of mobile phones in schools, while the New York City department of education has recently relaxed its strict ban on mobile phones in…
    Smart phones have become a big educational talking point. This year, the French government banned the use of mobile phones in schools, while the New York City department of education has recently relaxed its strict ban on mobile phones in…
    read more
  • Phonics science vs the ‘feels’ 03 August 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre
    The phonics debate co-hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies and the Australian College of Educators was supposed to be about the best way to teach phonics. It is a given that numerous other factors contribute to reading success, including…
    The phonics debate co-hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies and the Australian College of Educators was supposed to be about the best way to teach phonics. It is a given that numerous other factors contribute to reading success, including…
    read more

Publications

  • Focus on Phonics: Why Australia should adopt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check 24 November 2016 | RR22
    A simple, five-minute Phonics Screening Check could identify at an early stage all of Australia’s school children who are at serious risk of struggling with reading skills. Among English speaking countries, Australia has one of the largest proportions of children who do not achieve minimum standards in literacy by Year…...
    A simple, five-minute Phonics Screening Check could identify at an early stage all of Australia’s school children who are at serious risk of struggling with reading skills. Among English speaking countries, Australia has one of the largest proportions of children who do not achieve minimum standards in literacy by Year…
    READ MORE
  • Productivity Commission Inquiry into the National Education Evidence Base: Submission in response to the draft report 01 May 2016 | CIS Submission
    The Review of Education Evidence (Draft Report)—the ‘Draft Report’—provides a useful, up-to-date overview of the types of data collected about the educational progress and outcomes of Australian children and students. It makes salient points about the quality and accessibility of research and data....
    The Review of Education Evidence (Draft Report)—the ‘Draft Report’—provides a useful, up-to-date overview of the types of data collected about the educational progress and outcomes of Australian children and students. It makes salient points about the quality and accessibility of research and data.
    READ MORE
  • Read about it: Scientific evidence for effective teaching of reading 07 March 2016 | Research Report 11
    How children learn to read is one of the most studied aspects of education. There is a large and rigorous body of scientific evidence identifying the key elements of high quality reading instruction. The research literature also unequivocally shows that explicit instruction methods are the most effective way of teaching…...
    How children learn to read is one of the most studied aspects of education. There is a large and rigorous body of scientific evidence identifying the key elements of high quality reading instruction. The research literature also unequivocally shows that explicit instruction methods are the most effective way of teaching…
    READ MORE
  • One School Does Not Fit All 31 January 2016 | Research Report 9
    Australia has a relatively large degree of choice between schools, a product of historical private and non-profit sector involvement in the provision of schooling after British colonisation. Analysis of school funding data in this report shows that there are more similarities in how schools are funded than differences. This report…...
    Australia has a relatively large degree of choice between schools, a product of historical private and non-profit sector involvement in the provision of schooling after British colonisation. Analysis of school funding data in this report shows that there are more similarities in how schools are funded than differences. This report…
    READ MORE
  • Free to Choose Charter Schools: How charter and for-profit schools can boost public education 31 August 2015 | Research Report 6
    Charter schools and free schools – publicly-funded, privately-managed schools – have been introduced in several countries around the world as a way of extending school choice, particularly for low income families. This report examines the policies and research on charter schools and their equivalents in five countries –USA, Sweden, Chile,…...
    Charter schools and free schools – publicly-funded, privately-managed schools – have been introduced in several countries around the world as a way of extending school choice, particularly for low income families. This report examines the policies and research on charter schools and their equivalents in five countries –USA, Sweden, Chile,…
    READ MORE

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