5from5-logoA 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.

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Featured Publication


Focus on Phonics: Why Australia should adopt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
Jennifer Buckingham, Julie Mavlian
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…

Early Childhood Intervention: Assessing the evidence
Trisha Jha
20 September 2016 | Research Report 19

Early childhood interventions are programs that aim to improve a child’s development trajectory over the longer term. In the context of increasing disadvantage in welfare-dependent communities in Australia, governments spend considerable sums on these programs. The rationale is that investment, in theory, will reduce the…

Productivity Commission Inquiry into the National Education Evidence Base: Submission in response to the draft report
Jennifer Buckingham
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.

One School Does Not Fit All
Jennifer Buckingham, Trisha Jha
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…

Media & Commentary

Gonski 2.0: next step
Blaise Joseph
21 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Phase 2.0 of Gonski 2.0 is now officially under way, with the announcement of the panel line-up for the Review to Achieve Education Excellence in Australian Schools — and an extension…

‘Free’ public schooling for all unnecessary and unfair
Blaise Joseph
07 July 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

We all know the school stereotype. Government schools are full of disadvantaged students and struggling for money, while overfunded wealthy independent schools receive taxpayer money they will just spend on…

Parent Panic
Jennifer Buckingham
30 June 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Australian preschools might have seen a rush of enrolments this week after media covered an OECD report claiming children who attend preschool for two years prior to starting school have…

Judas put 30 pieces in his pocket — Coalition’s treachery earns it zero
Blaise Joseph
27 June 2017 | THE AUSTRALIAN

Judas got 30 pieces of silver for his treachery, but the Turnbull government seems to have got no reward for Gonski 2.0. The Coalition, after arguing for many years that…

Ignore the preschool panic
Jennifer Buckingham

You might forgive parents reading the Sydney Morning Herald this week for thinking they’d better abandon their skinny latte and rush out to enrol their three-year-olds in a pre-school where…