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


The Fantasy of Gonski Funding: The ongoing battle over school spending
Blaise Joseph
30 April 2017 | RR26

The Gonski Report has not been implemented – there is no such thing as ‘Gonski funding.’  The current school funding benchmark is unreasonably high. There were several fundamental issues with the Gonski Report to begin with. There are viable alternative school funding options which should…

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.

Media & Commentary

Fixated with Finland
Blaise Joseph
12 January 2018 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

Finland is an education utopia that Australia should learn lessons from but need not emulate.

International study shows many Australian children are still struggling with reading
Jennifer Buckingham
07 December 2017 | The Conversation

Australia still has a ‘long tail’ of underachievement in reading The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2016 looked at the reading ability of Year 4 children in 50 countries,…

Phonics check is crucial
Jennifer Buckingham
01 December 2017 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

CIS’s FIVEfromFIVE literacy proposed a Year 1 Phonics Check. The assessment would show which students are likely to struggle with reading throughout their schooling. Any opposition to such a proposal…

PISA education ranking challenged by questions over student motivation
Jennifer Buckingham

There is an annual furore when Australia continues to show a disturbing decline in one of the crucial international education measurements. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) conducted every…

Education in a changing world
Blaise Joseph
17 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

No one denies technology is changing the world. NSW government’s ‘Education for a Changing World Symposium’ held last week tackled many important topics relating to education and technology. It’s certainly…