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


Pain without gain: Why school closures are bad policy
Blaise Joseph, Glenn Fahey
24 May 2020 | PP28

The decision by state and territory governments to strongly advise parents to keep their children at home and essentially close schools went against the health, economic, and educational evidence. There was little health benefit, while there were substantial economic and educational costs. Victoria, Tasmania, the…

Australia's Export Exposure to China's Coronavirus Epidemic
Salvatore Babones
18 February 2020 | AP7

This paper estimates the direct and immediate effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the revenues of Australia’s major export industries. It breaks down Australia’s exports to China across 18 major industry groups, including both goods and services exports. China’s coronavirus epidemic is likely to cost…

Submission to the NSW Curriculum Review Interim Report Consultations
Fiona Mueller
01 December 2019

The NSW Government commissioned a review of the state’s curriculum in September, 2018, to be completed in early 2020. Led by Professor Geoff Masters, the NSW Curriculum Review was described as the first comprehensive review since 1989, the overarching aim being to ensure that the…

What Do Parents Want From Schools?
Glenn Fahey
20 November 2019 | PP26

Educational freedom and proper use of resources are both crucial in producing the best outcomes for school students. This paper provides an insight into parental perspectives of the current state of school choice and resourcing. The research results reveal the areas of importance to parents…

What Do Parents Want? Australian childcare preferences and attitudes
Eugenie Joseph, Fiona Mueller
10 September 2019 | PP22

Many Australian families rely on formal and informal childcare to enable them to take on employment. Government policies have included a strong focus on giving mothers every opportunity to enter the workforce. In 2019-2020, the federal government is expected to allocate more than $8 billion…

Media & Commentary

Our clever country deserves better than two-speed education
Glenn Fahey
18 October 2020 | Canberra Times

AUSTRALIA’S two-speed education system has been tolerated for too long – with recent research showing school closures widened the city-country educational divide. The study exposes clear distinctions in how parents…

What women want out of childcare
Fiona Mueller
14 October 2020 | Financial Review

Labor has made cheaper childcare a centrepiece of its response to the federal budget, saying that women’s workforce participation is crucial to Australia’s economic recovery and lifting the child care subsidy by…

Closures undermined education
Glenn Fahey
09 October 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

New CIS research confirms the breadth of educational damage of school closures — especially troubling for Victorian students finally returning to class next week. The analysis paper Parents’ perspectives on…

Reading wars rage on
Glenn Fahey
24 September 2020 | Ideas@theCentre

Despite decades of bruising battles, the reading wars rage on — with a new review exposing persistent opposition to evidence-based reading approaches in schools. The NSW Centre for Education Statistics…

Wrestling the writing decline key to education improvement
Glenn Fahey
20 September 2020 | Canberra Times

The dire state of Australian students’ writing is perhaps the worst-kept secret of our education system. Two damning new reports – one on NAPLAN and one by the NSW Education…