Education – The Centre for Independent Studies


A quality school education is vital for individual well-being and for a healthy society. All children should have access to an education that is responsive to their needs as well as upholding high standards of academic rigour. CIS’s focus is on policies that restore the role of parents in education and devolve greater authority and responsibility to schools to meet these goals.



Featured Publication


Mind the Gap: Understanding the Indigenous education gap and how to close it
Glenn Fahey
24 June 2021 | RR41

Indigenous educational disadvantage remains among the most pressing and persistent public policy challenges in Australia. Despite bipartisan and intergovernmental commitment to ‘Closing the Gap’, has done little to move the needle in education outcomes. Dispiritingly poor education outcomes persist despite the best of intentions, considerable…

Confronting Indigenous educational disadvantage: A Kimberley perspective
Lorraine Hammond
24 March 2021 | AP20

The challenges of education in Australia’s remote majority indigenous communities are complex and persistent. The best intentions and considerable resourcing over decades haven’t translated into consistently higher quality instruction and unfortunately, not a significant improvement in broader education outcomes. This paper documents the challenges faced…

A 2021 education resolution: keep an eye on the Australian Curriculum
Fiona Mueller
11 February 2021 | OP179

The COVID-19 pandemic is stimulating debate about the relationship between the governed and their leaders, both elected and appointed. In Australia, the world’s tenth-oldest continuous democracy, there is an unanticipated but positive opportunity for a nation-building refocus on the principles and aspirations that underpinned the…

Worlds Apart: Remote Indigenous disadvantage in the context of wider Australia
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
25 January 2021 | PP34

Remote and very remote Indigenous communities have become victims of a ‘wicked problem’. A combination of high impact factors that, when pooled together, are having devastating effects on communities. Education and employment rates in remote and very remote Indigenous communities put them on par with…

Dollars and Sense: Time for smart reform of Australian school funding
Glenn Fahey
01 December 2020 | RR40

Australia is among the world’s highest-spending countries on schooling. Yet, the educational return on this investment for parents, taxpayers, employers, and students, has deteriorated — despite the expectation of policymakers that increased funding would inevitably improve educational outcomes. It’s true that money matters when it…

Media & Commentary

NAPLAN future secured, but improvements will continue
Glenn Fahey
18 July 2021 | Canberra Times

The decision to keep NAPLAN – but continue to improve it – is a positive step for Australian schooling. The agreement reached by Australia’s education ministers earlier this month puts…

Truancy the Roadblock to Closing the Indigenous Achievement Gap
Glenn Fahey
08 July 2021 | Epoch Times

The decision to remove attendance targets for Indigenous students shows how policymakers have the wrong priorities for addressing the education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Closing the attendance gap…

Treat teaching as a supply-side problem
Glenn Fahey
24 June 2021 | Financial Review

Opening up the teaching workforce, rather than tolerating anti-competitive protection of incumbents, is the way to resolve persistent shortages in the quality and quantity of Australia’s teachers. A new discussion paper…

Why problem-based approaches are not the right answer
Glenn Fahey
20 June 2021 | Canberra Times

The draft revised school curriculum’s push to prioritise problem-solving is educationally flawed and will handicap efforts to lift Australian students’ dismal maths performance. Resistance to the proposed changes has recently…

A cultural imbalance: the draft curriculum disserves Western traditions and values
Fiona Mueller
09 June 2021 | Education HQ

Australia’s first Prime Minister believed in free, compulsory and ‘unsectarian’ education, backing the 1880 NSW Public Education Act to revolutionise access for those aged between 6 and 14. The youngest…