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


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…

Free to Choose Charter Schools: How charter and for-profit schools can boost public education
Trisha Jha, Jennifer Buckingham
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…

Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base
Trisha Jha
05 November 2014 | PM142

The National Quality Agenda (NQA) endorsed by all states and territories in 2009 regulates childcare systems across Australia. It mandates increased minimum standards in various aspects provision of care and a ratings system with the goal of improving quality. The NQA mandates substantial and costly…

Media & Commentary

Evidence needed before education shifts
Blaise Joseph, Jennifer Buckingham
31 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The working lives of people entering the Australian workforce in 2017 are different to those of the previous generation. Technology and automation, as well as the decline in industries where…

Literally no idea about literacy and numeracy
Blaise Joseph
17 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

In my entire teacher education degree, there was just one subject dedicated to learning how to teach literacy and numeracy. And ironically that subject included very little literacy and no…

The 4C's do not exist without the 3R's
Jennifer Buckingham
10 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Almost every day, a new evangelist for so-called ’21st Century’ learning makes a heartfelt plea for schools to throw off the shackles of having to teach children to be proficient…

Gabbling about Gonski funding
Blaise Joseph
24 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

‘Giving a Gonski’ has become a slogan for ‘caring’ about education but seemingly without bothering to understand what it actually means. For years now, so-called Gonski funding — the National…

Forget the fads and flapdoodle
Julie Mavlian
10 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Teachers need to understand best practice and reading research so they are not influenced by ineffective methods, expensive educational fads, and meaningless jargon like ‘neuroplasticity’. The Australian Education Union appears…