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


Have We All Gone Mad? The Snowflake Epidemic
Steven Schwartz, Lindsay Shepherd, Claire Lehmann, Tiffany Jenkins
22 November 2018 | OP168

University campuses throughout the West are in the grip of a troubling social phenomenon, now in danger of spreading beyond the ivy walls. Once bastions of intellectual rigour and freedom of thought, universities have become closed-minded and self-censoring, pandering to what appear from the outside…

Conflict vs Mistake: Academic cultures and explanatory conflict
Claire Lehmann
11 September 2018 | OP167

The 2018 Helen Hughes Lecture explains why and how universities are fuelling the corrosive identity politics phenomena that is sweeping western countries. With a mix of erudition and common sense, Claire Lehmann — the founder and editor-in-chief of renowned online magazine Quillette — unpacks complicated…

Why childcare is not affordable
Eugenie Joseph
29 August 2018 | RR37

Childcare fees and out-of-pocket costs in Australia have been growing above inflation in recent years, at the same time that more parents are using formalised childcare to support their participation in the workforce. Childcare has been subject to growing and evolving regulation for many years,…

What the Gonski 2 Review got wrong
Jennifer Buckingham, Blaise Joseph
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 be used to improve student…

Media & Commentary

Kudos to NSW for phonics check trial
Blaise Joseph
21 June 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

The NSW budget included some very welcome education news: a trial of the Year 1 phonics screening check in some government schools. This is a great outcome for NSW children,…

No, school choice does not cause ‘segregation’
Blaise Joseph
07 June 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

The mental gymnastics displayed by some people in order to blame school choice for Australia’s education woes never cease to amaze. A recent OECD report on school choice and equity…

More spending not a poll winner
Blaise Joseph
24 May 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

A significant proportion of Australians would rather have lower taxes than more spending on public services like education without results, and this was reflected in the federal election result. The…

NAPLAN is much more gain than pain
Blaise Joseph

It’s that time of the school year again.  NAPLAN has started, and so have the shouts that the tests are ‘useless’ and ‘harm kids and schools’. But what really harms…

Let’s not undermine NAPLAN but make it even better
Blaise Joseph
15 May 2019 | The Australian

Some people don’t want the school system to be accountable to parents­. But they forget that governmen­t schools exist for parent­s and their children, not the other way around. That…